25 September 2023

Police driven to distraction

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ACT Policing has announced it will be putting special emphasis on identifying and prosecuting driver distraction throughout June.

Acting Officer in Charge of Traffic Operations, Sergeant David Wills said that throughout the year, the multi-Agency road safety strategy targeted specific issues and behaviour which contributed to death and serious injuries on Canberra’s roads, with driver distraction among those concerns.

“Driver distraction is any action that takes a driver’s attention away from the road or impacts their driving ability,” Sergeant Wills said.

“This includes using a mobile phone, driving with headphones, tuning the car radio, managing children or pets on board, or even applying make-up.”

He said the most common offence related to driver distraction in the ACT was again driving while using a handheld mobile phone.

“Police have issued 316 traffic infringement notices so far this year each carrying a penalty of $470 and three demerit points,” Sergeant Wills said.

“There’s no excuse for handling your phone while you are driving. It is a practice that is very dangerous and unnecessary,” he said.

“Hands free technology is readily available but the best option is to turn your mobile phone off or put it out of reach while you are driving.”

He said missing or not taking a call was a significantly better option than a serious collision that could have serious life altering or fatal consequences.

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