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N/A | National Stay Safe, mobile phone use.

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by aaahhh, Nov 2, 2011.

  1. I just sent this to Stay Safe, NSW Govt committee on road safety. See what response I get.

    Hi, I have a query regarding the use of mobile phones whilst operating a motor vehicle. I have previously written to the govt about the current consequences not being sufficient to deter people from using phones in their vehicles. I see on a daily basis far too many people talking on their phones and worse still looking into their lap texting, this scares me as I am a motorcyclist and also a part of a family. I use my bike to commute mainly to and from work. I ride a bike because it is cheaper to run, eases congestion and I love riding. I regularly deal with drivers who change lanes on me because they have their phone in their ear and do not look or just veer across lanes as they are texting. The current fines I believe are something like $239 and 3 demerit points. The fact that a majority of people who are texting while driving seem to be young P platers is particularly disturbing. Research studies have proven that using a phone while driving is akin to driving under the influence. Is it possible to have a review on the consequences of this practice and create a realistic deterrent before somebody gets killed or seriously injured? As a motorcyclist I feel I am already up against it with the behaviour of some road users. I am acutely aware my safety is not dependent on others doing the right thing and I am, as are many of my fellow riders, continuously vigilant when using the roads. Unfortunately drivers become complacent and do not seem to fully understand what damage a vehicle can do. I worry for pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and other drivers who have to deal with people who are dangerously distracted by their phones. Accidents destroy families; it would be nice to feel safer on the roads and not have to worry about the ridiculously high number of drivers operating potentially lethal weapons with no regard for the safety of others.
  2. make it hurt. if you don't know you shouldn't be doing it then you shouldn't be driving.
    $2000 fine and 5 demerit points is the go and have a mad blitz on it.
    I have no sympathy for these people

    i would be interested in any respone you get.
  3. When you observe people texting in their laps is it when they are stopped in traffic and you filter past or are they moving? There is a huge difference between the two. I see a lot of drivers checking phones when stopped, far less actually moving. A lot of drivers will check a phone if completely stationary and will not move while doing so. I must admit I am occasionaly guility of this even on the bike. The worst that this can cause is a failure to move right away when the traffic starts to move.

    I don't think that the law makes any distinction between the two. But I think it is far more likely to be ignored by a cop. However if there was a change in the fine I would like to see a distinction between the two offences. I wouldn't like to see anyone penalised a huge ammount if they check an sms while stopped but I would like to see hellfire brought to those attempting to drive and use a phone.
  4. I got rear ended in my car by a P plater last Friday who I think was texting. She said "she only looked down for a second" and her phone screen was smashed indicating that it became a missle.

    I'm glad I wasn't on the bike at the time.
  5. #5 Ljiljan, Nov 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 24, 2015
    I was rear ended a few years ban who darius to me, I quote verbatim "my wife was just saying to me it's friday 13th so don't crash." I nearly throttled him.
  6. You can eat and drive
    You can drink (non alcoholic) and drive
    You can fiddle with your car stereo and drive
    You can do your makeup and drive
    You can play with your GPS and drive
    You can read a street directory and drive
    You can turn around and scream at the kids in the back seat and drive
    You can talk on a CB radio and drive
    and not get booked.....
    but DON'T use your phone while driving!
    Ain't it funny what the law chooses to focus on!
  7. I think the main offenders for smsing would be P platers but it's more the 40+ year olds who talk on their mobiles because they think that they've been driving for 20+ years that they can do no wrong
  8. Unless the law has changed, using a CB radio will driving (i.e. using the hand held mike) is (or at least was) illegal.

    I saw a report years ago on TV from the UK. They did a series of tests using 'average' drivers from different backgrounds. The test involved doing an obstical course. They found that driving while talking on a mobile phone (hands free or not) produced the same results as driving over the legal limit.

    Driving while looking at a map wasn't much better. However, talking to a passenger wasn't significantly different to not talking to a passanger.

  9. There is no distinction when you can use the phone moving or stopped. So I guess you are saying when the car is stopped in traffic you can do whatever you want, drink beer, read newspapers, eat cereal, So I see no distinction. Leave the damn phone out of reach. If you want to read a text pull over and stop, not waiting in traffic or stopped waiting at lights. Half way through reading a text are you going to stop reading and then move off or move off while you finish reading. Gotta draw the line somewhere and I would err on the side of the most safe.
  10. I think you might find it is an offence to any of those things whilst driving

    these are not technically offences, not being in control of your vehicle is the offence. So it could probably be argued that if you are doing any of those things you may be deemed to be not in control of the vehicle.. according to Mr Plod at the Kogarah Police station
  11. There would be no safety hazzard in doing these things (except BAC from drinking the beer), however they do create a flow of traffic problem, as they cannot be started and stopped as easily as reading a text message. Cereal would be a little wierd to do stopped at a light, but is there any problem eating some chips or taking a sip of coke?

    Most people do have some common sense. If I read a text while stopped at a light it will be at an intersection where I know the light changes and how long I have. If the light changes I will stop reading and move off. I have the common sence to know what constitutes safe or dangerous behavior, and while it may not seem evident sometimes, the vast majority of people on the road also have this ability.

    Yes, I understand that there isn't any great loss on my part to read the text later when the keys are out of the ignition, but equally there is no loss of safety from doing something on your phone with your foot squarely on the brake while stationary.

    If this was the case then we would ban driving and riding entirely. Using a phone while moving is downright dangerous. But using one while stopped causes absolutly no hazzard if done sensibly.
  12. No. If they're not paying attention, they're not paying attention. Anything could be going on around them and all they do is look up to check the light is still green then go, which is dangerous considering the number of red light runners (vehicles and pedestrians) there are around.

    But most often they get distracted and need the person behind them to pay attention for them. It pisses me off no end that these arsehats get beeped and slide through the amber while everyone else gets stuck at the red for another turn. Usually they're gone by your turn which means you don't get to catch up to them and "gently" remind them that they're on the road to drive.
  13. I agree with this, and it annoys me to no end too. But it is not a direct safety issue.

    If we want to call for tougher penalties for using mobile phones while driving, which I am all for, it is the dangerous people who should be pinged. 3 points and $239 is not enough for someone driving and using a phone, but it seems a bit harsh to me to penalize someone this much for using a phone while stopped.
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  14. +1
    Agree totally with this.
    I check my phone when I am stopped at traffic lights, then I put it down again if I move. If I am stationary, I am hardly going to be hitting anyone, sure it is theoretically possible I might miss a couple of seconds of a green light... but it hasn't happened yet. Hell, if I have time (ie light just turned red for me), I'll check my phone when I am on my bike, then I can decide if I need to pull over to deal with the message. If my kids' school has called, or whatever, I want to know about it as soon as possible.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. It makes my blood boil that I often see this when I am riding. It appears these idiots cannot use their own judgement but also appears they do not consider the penalty/chance of getting caught a worthwhile deterent. The worst offenders are the "texters" in the lap while moving, taking quick looks down to do it is downright dangerous. Far more so than talking on the phone I would say.

    Often, I will be behind a vehicle and see them swerve out of their lane, then I think to put some distance between us and I'll have a bet in my head what they are doing. It is always one of three things, mums looking around at kids, someone eating or someone using a mobile. The law should be more serious regarding using a mobile, but also more strict regarding those that fail to maintain control of their vehicle, whatever the reason.

    I also saw a show suggesting that cars could be made to not let mobile signals through unless the phone was resting in a hands free type cradle device. It allowed hands free phone calls but texts could not be viewed. No one wants it to go that far, but is this seriously where things have to go to stop the idiots on the road?

    Mentioning things such as eating, drinking, playing with the radio; while they may not seem significant have caused plenty of accidents. No one here would be promoting a right to eat dinner or put on make up while driving if they or a family member were affected by accident caused from it.

    I would be VERY interested to see the reply (if any) to the OP correspondence.
  16. You can't feasibly distinguish between very slow moving and stopped traffic for cars, such as stopping being the first person in a cue at traffic lights versus a long line of traffic that's stop, crawl, stop, crawl.

    I think the biggest offenders are during the crawl phase, where people don't texting as a hazard, and don't watch the traffic around them - traffic stops suddenly, veer out of the lane, delay traffic.

    I'm all for a total ban, however i wouldn't be surprised if alot of people are blissfully unaware of the penalties/risks associated. To them it might just be 'i started doing x, but then looked up and realized, no harm caused' which leads to a more complacent view on the matter.

    And the fact that no one ever gets caught by the popo doing it...
  17. I have a friend who is a copper and who has pulled people (ladies) over for brushing their hair, doing their make-up, having something eat (ok - guys for that one too), etc. Don't know what the technical term is (may be not being in control of your vehicle), but they're all offenses nonetheless.

    And so they should be. Distraction is far more often the cause for an accident then speed would be imo, it's just that the speed related accidents are usually far more worse in their outcomes.
  18. I don't agree with you here smileedude. Problem in my view is only that people can't withstand the temptation of looking at their phones when that txt message is coming in, if the phone is kept nearby. This is even a problem with hands free.

    At the end, how important can that txt message or phone call be, or what does it matter if you see/hear it 5, 10 or 20 minutes later? If you're on a long trip, plan a break to look at your phone. If your just traveling within your city, switch it off and look at it when you get to your destination. We are getting far too dependent on these bl@@dy things.
  19. Makes no difference whether you are stationary or not. Use of the phone distracts your attention from the road and your

    As a result there is no distinction between the two, and in both instances you should, and will be penalised accordingly.

    If you need to use the phone, pull over safely.


    You can be fined or charged for doing any of those activities, and more, whilst driving.


    IIRC, the RR, in this respect, was updated in 2007 Mick.

    RR300 - Use of hand-held mobile phones:

    (1) The driver of a vehicle (except an emergency vehicle or police vehicle) must not use a hand-held
    mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked, unless the driver is exempt
    from this rule under another law of this jurisdiction.

    Note: "Emergency vehicle", "park" and "police vehicle" are defined in the dictionary.

    (2) In this rule "mobile phone" does not include a CB radio or any other two-way radio.

  20. What I think should happen is the cops should be slamming people for not being in control of a vehicle. The amount of the times I see s car wandering all over the road and driving like shit. Yes heaps of them are texting and on the phone but I don't care what they're doing tbh, if they can't stay in the lines get the hell off the road.
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