DRIVERS speaking or texting on a mobile phone illegally are the greatest menace on the roads, motorists overwhelmingly have flagged.
DRIVERS speaking or texting on a mobile phone illegally are the greatest menace on the roads, motorists overwhelmingly have flagged.

The biggest menace on our roads revealed

DRIVERS speaking or texting on a mobile phone illegally are the greatest menace on the roads, motorists overwhelmingly have flagged.

An NRMA survey of almost 1500 members found that almost three-quarters - 72 per cent - ranked illegal phone use behind the wheel as their biggest road safety fear.

Motorists said they regarded visible highway patrols as the most effective deterrent against dangerous driver behaviour.

 

Young people are not the biggest offenders, new data shows. Picture: David Crosling
Young people are not the biggest offenders, new data shows. Picture: David Crosling

 

New data collated by the Centre for Road Safety shows young people are not the biggest offenders illegally using a phone when driving.

While 34,858 drivers aged 16-25 were fined for using their mobile phones in their cars from 2013 to 2017, a staggering 74,056 drivers aged 26-39 were caught over the same period. A close second were 40-59 year olds racking up 53,531 offences.

Young drivers in NSW already are subject to some of the toughest mobile phone laws in the country. Under the Graduated Licensing Scheme which came into force in 2000 learners and red and green P-platers are banned from using a mobile phone at all.

 

Young drivers in NSW already are subject to some of the toughest mobile phone laws in the country
Young drivers in NSW already are subject to some of the toughest mobile phone laws in the country

 

In the NRMA survey mobile phone use was voted a greater concern than:

. Driving under the influence of alcohol (56 per cent)

. Speeding (55 per cent)

. Aggressive driving (46 per cent)

. Driving under the influence of drugs (41 per cent), and

. Driver fatigue (38 per cent)

The NRMA's 2017 report Can't Talk Driving found almost one-fifth of motorists read texts while driving.

Alarmingly, 15 per cent believed they would not get caught. After the NRMA called for a crackdown on the behaviour the state government responded with tougher penalties and enforcement.



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