Monday, November 19, 2012

Heads Up

The NSW Roads and Traffic Authority Roads and Maritime Services has a helpful FAQ for the recently introduced mobile phone laws.

How will making people mount mobile phones to make a call improve road safety?

The new rules around mobile phone use are designed to stop people looking down at a phone in their hand, which means they take their eyes off the road and stop concentrating on driving safely. Requiring mobile phones to be mounted on the dash means that drivers heads remain up and they keep facing the road while operating phones.
The only reason people ever looked down at phones is because they were trying to keep them out of sight due to previous laws banning their use whilst driving. They have introduced new laws to reduce the danger of hazards caused by previous laws. It is clear we need more laws...

The site discusses the huge threat posed:

How prevalent are mobile phones as a cause of crashes and fatalities on our road?

The truth is we don’t know exactly. While we have some statistics, the fact is they rely on people to self-report that they were using a phone at the time of a crash, which is not in their best interests legally. This means the involvement of mobile phone use in causing crashes is severely underreported. [sic] You only need to drive on any road in Australia to regularly see people on their phones while driving, which is dangerous to themselves and other road users.
Like "speed", it's completely non-quantifiable and makes for wonderful ad campaigns and fines revenue with no discernible improvement on safety.

Previous thoughts here.


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