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Police and the Motor Accident Commission (MAC) are urging road users to hang up on dangerous distractions and give their full attention to the road.
Throughout June, South Australia Police (SAPOL) will conduct Operation Distraction, a month-long crackdown on distracted drivers across the state, with a particular focus on mobile phone use.
Driver inattention or distraction is a significant contributing factor in up to two thirds of fatal crashes, and approximately 15 per cent of crashes that result in serious injuries.
Superintendent Bob Fauser – Officer in Charge of Traffic Support is imploring drivers to examine and adjust their behaviour at the wheel, leaving distractions out of sight and mind.
“Driving is a complex, coordinated task which demands care and attention.
“Activities such as dialling, texting or talking on the phone divert your attention from the road, putting your safety and the safety of other road users at risk.”
“You are your car’s best safety feature – hang up, look up and just drive.”
Superintendent Fauser says the number of expiation notices being issued to distracted drivers is on the increase.
“In 2013, 12,563 drivers and riders received an expiation notice for a mobile phone related offence.”
MAC General Manager Road Safety, Michael Cornish said growing smartphone ownership and the increasing amount of features they offer made them a dangerous temptation in cars.
“We’re urging drives – please don’t let distractions into your car, you can live without it,” Mr Cornish said.
“Switch your phone to silent, or switch it off, or safely pull over to the side of the road and park before using your phone. If you don’t, you’re increasing your risk of a crash and potentially endangering others.”
Driving while using a mobile phone carries penalty of a fine of $300, with a $60 Victims of Crime levy, and the loss of three demerit points.
Police will conduct the Operation with the support of the Motor Accident Commission (MAC) and the Department for Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI).