The Chairman of the PCA, Mr
“A British study has found (quote): ‘Talking on a mobile phone whilst driving is more dangerous than being just over the legal alcohol limit. Tests by scientists at the Transport Research Laboratory
“Yet the penalties in NSW and throughout
“Recognising that Police resources are scarce, the only solution is to make the penalties fit the crime. The penalties for low range drink-driving include a mandatory court appearance, 3 months loss of licence and hefty fines exceeding $500. It follows that the penalties for using mobile-phones while driving must therefore be similar and commensurate with the potential for harm. We recommend:
1 Increasing the monetary penalty from $226 to $500 while retaining the 3 Demerit Points
2 On-the-spot confiscation of the phone to be disposed of at public auction with funds going towards additional enforcement. Police already have the obligation to confiscate radar detecting devices and it could be argued they are far less dangerous than using mobile phones while driving
3 Automatic 3 months loss of licence on second offence and subsequent offences and;
4 Double demerit points for this offence during holiday periods.
“So we now have a clear choice: more of the same and watch this lethal behaviour increase along with the Road Toll, or acknowledge that Police resources will not cope with much more than a cursory 50 bookings a day and realise that the only intervention which will significantly reverse this lethal trend is to increase the penalties to a point where, even though the chances of being caught are low, the penalties make the risk prohibitive.” Mr Scruby said.
Harold Scruby - Chairman/CEO – Pedestrian Council of