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.’’
Organisers of the Goulburn Valley Ladies 60-and-over bowls group are rapt with the response to the group's first day of play.
Paradise Queen owner Travis Smith is preparing to take on hundreds of runners at this year’s Yarrawonga Mulwala Multisport Festival to be held on October 18-19.
Goulburn Valley Fins and Fenders Car Club is getting ready to host its second annual Show and Shine event at Tatura Racecourse on Saturday, October 18.
Residents are being warned they could face severe penalties if out of control burn-offs damaged someone else’s property.
The Nanneella hall and recreation reserve committee is inviting everyone to join its clearance sale on October 25.
National Party ticket up for grabs
Developer of the Elloura estate wants to build another road to Buckley Park among other changes.
Terry Hogan has stood down as Mayor of Jerilderie Shire due to an ongoing battle with cancer.
Heathcote Community House staff are encouraging people to send a postcard to show their support.
Minister for Local Government and Aboriginal Affairs Tim Bull visits Cobram to assist councils and incumbent MP.
Keen Deni Ute Muster fans rolled into town early for the weekend's event.
The only consistent thing about frost damage in crops was its random nature, a cropping expert told his field day audience at Finley last Friday.
Last week's Coledale poll dorset stud ram sale was the best in the stud's 45-year history.
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.