Mobile Phone Blamed in Road Death

Sunday Herald Sun

Sunday 19 May 2002
A MOTORIST who hit and killed a cyclist while using a mobile phone will face court in a landmark case. It is believed to be the first time the use of a mobile phone has been blamed for a road fatality in Victoria.

The woman driver was allegedly sending a text message when she struck and killed Anthony John Marsh, 36 who was riding a bicycle to work. He was struck from behind and died at the scene.

The woman driver is likely to be charged with culpable driving and face court later this year. Mr. Marsh died in Geelong on December 30, the day after police expressed concern that 420 people were caught every week talking on mobiles while at the wheel.

The number of drivers using mobile phones is a growing problem. Figures from March show an increase, with 615 people a week - or 88 a day - being nabbed using mobiles while at the wheel.

Last year, a teenage driver in Queensland ran down and killed a man while answering a mobile phone.

The 17-year-old driver was found guilty of manslaughter and received a suspended sentence.

Kenneth Dalton, 69, was killed while standing on a nature strip at Bellbowrie, in Brisbane's outer western suburbs, on August 4.

Mr. Dalton was watering trees when a car came around the corner, mounted the kerb and struck him before skidding back into the street.

The accident occurred after the driver lost control of the vehicle when she leaned down to answer her mobile phone.
See also The Daily Telegraph 23 March 2002