A high-ranking Victoria Police officer has called for all mobile phone use to be illegal in vehicles.TRENT HORNEMAN November 7, 2012 4:47am
Mobile phone use while driving is the second most common driving offence for Campaspe Highway Patrol acting sergrant Kris Sutton and his team. A high-ranking Victoria Police officer has called for all mobile phone use to be illegal in vehicles.
Campaspe Highway Patrol officers believe mobile phone infringements are the second most prevalent in the region behind speeding.
Acting sergeant Kris Sutton said mobile phone use had led to two fatal crashes in the region in the past three years.
Earlier this week, a leading traffic cop Inspector David Griffin told the Herald Sun he wanted to see new laws to force drivers to switch off mobile phones in cars.
Regional business owners have warned the proposal could ruin them.
Sgt Sutton said he supported any initiative which could deter drivers from using their mobile phones in vehicles.
‘‘Monash research have done extensive research on this which show that a driver will take their eyes off the road for about three seconds at a time while using a phone. Depending on what speed you are travelling at the time, that could be critical,’’ he said.
‘‘While most of the people we catch are tourists during the busy summer period, that does not mean that locals are exempt from any blame.’’
Sgt Sutton said even Bluetooth or hands-free devices encouraged drivers to take their eyes off the road.
‘‘To answer the phone or to dial with these devices you have to take your eyes off the road,’’ he said.
‘‘Hopefully, as more and more new cars come onto the road and older ones are taken off, there will be more cars fitted with mobile phone technology.’’
Ian Scurrah, owner-operator of Scurton Parcels in Echuca-Moama, receives an average of 15 to 20 phone calls a day while he is on the road making deliveries.
He said he relied on his phone for business and used voice-activated hands-free technology while driving.
‘‘All I have to do is say answer or reject when a call comes in. I do not have to take my hands off the wheel at any stage,’’ he said.
‘‘I am an owner-operator, if these proposed changes come into effect I would have to pay someone to answer my calls. I can’t afford to do that, so I would be out of business.’’
District stock agent and Campaspe Shire councillor Ian Maddison uses his phone for business while on the road. He said he supported a possible tightening of mobile phone laws.
‘‘It will be a massive inconvenience to my business, mobile phones have become a part of our lives but there is no doubt they are a distraction,’’ he said.
‘‘There have been times when I have been travelling and having a conversation and I cannot remember going through a certain spot.
‘‘I am 60 and I have been using a mobile phone for 20 years and it is the way we have become conditioned these days. Perhaps if mobiles were banned in cars we would return to the old days where people on the road organised their days differently.’’
A three vehicle collision is causing delays on the Midland Hwy, Tatura
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Goulburn Murray Cricket has allocated Echuca and Girgarre with joint C grade premierships after the clubs both agreed on the proposal.
A woman from Rochester has been jailed for breaching her bail conditions.
Tongala family hopes for transplant call for six-year-old.
A Seymour man has more cause than most to reflect on the price of war.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
The people of Heathcote and district chipped in more than $13,000 for the Food Friday Appeal and more donations are yet to be counted.
Barooga have completed a 117-point rout against Cobram in the Murray Football League's cross-river derby.
Deniliquin's Easter Sunday in the Park attracted about 200 people for the traditional family fun day.
Monitoring of the Murray River around the Barmah-Millewa Forest region in the past two spawning seasons has found larval Murray cod and Murray spiny crayfish in areas affected by the 2011 blackwater event.
Police are searching for a driver that rammed a Benalla police vehicle this morning.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.