What’s the most common driver distraction infringement in the ACT? Drivers using handheld mobile phones. And to deter motorists from using their phones while driving, ACT Policing has released footage captured by Road Policing officer helmet cameras of drivers doing just that.
Every year, ACT Policing issues hundreds of infringement notices for drivers using handheld mobile phones, and since the introduction of body-worn camera technology, many of these infringements have been captured on video.
Police have decided to release some of the many filmed infringements to demonstrate to drivers that their illegal behaviour is not only taking their attention away from the road and risking lives, but that it is easily detected by police.
The video shows drivers using their mobile phones in a variety of situations, including at speeds of up to 80 kilometres an hour, where a vehicle is travelling more than 20 metres in a second.
Driver distraction is not only limited to mobile phone use, it also includes driving with headphones on, managing passengers or pets on board, tuning the car radio, or using a GPS.
Officer in Charge of Road Policing, Detective Inspector Marcus Boorman, says it happens too often.
“We’re not releasing this video for fun, or to shame individuals, we’re putting it out there to show how common this dangerous, and ultimately stupid, behaviour is,” Detective Inspector Boorman said.
“Every driver caught in this video was distracted by their phone, most of them were so engrossed in using it they were surprised to see a police officer on a motorcycle pull up next to them, and some didn’t even notice that until the flashing lights and siren started.
“No phone call, text message, map search, or social media update is worth the multiple risks you take when you use your phone illegally while driving.”
This campaign forms part of the joint ACT Road Safety Strategy 2011-2020 which prioritises a Vision Zero approach to road safety.
Throughout the year, the multi-agency road safety strategy targets specific issues and behaviours which contribute to death and serious injuries on Canberra’s roads, with driver distraction among those concerns.