Teenage driver distraction will be tackled in an effort to curb road trauma with new funding to make distracted driving uncool.JENNA BISHOP March 28, 2014 5:08am
Stay focused on roads: Shepparton police First Constables Samara Dove and Michael Ibbott will be out to enforce laws involving distracted drivers.
National insurer AAMI has committed funding to research distracted driving, especially among young people.
It hopes to look at making distracted driving, including using a phone while driving, a social stigma and socially unacceptable.
Shepparton police Crime Prevention Office Leading Senior Constable Glenn Gibson said distraction was the cause of a majority of crashes.
‘‘Distractions can be drugs, both illicit and prescription, speeding, talking on the phone, lack of experience, the list just goes on,’’ he said.
Leading Sen Const Gibson said drivers needed to be responsible for driving to conditions and reduce distractions before they get in the car.
‘‘If you can control the distractions before you get in the car, you increase your chances of not being exposed to road trauma,’’ he said.
AAMI research indicated unsafe use of technology while driving was increasing, despite stricter laws and safety campaigns.
‘‘AAMI believes the key to combat the issue of distracted driving among younger drivers is creating a social stigma around it, much like we have with drunk-drivers. When texting and driving becomes socially unacceptable and uncool, we will start to see a change in behavior within this age group,’’ AAMI spokesman Reuben Aitchison said.
‘‘AAMI’s Crash Index research is showing some terrifying behaviours are on the rise.
‘‘More than half of young Aussie drivers have sent or read a text message while driving and more than a quarter have read emails or surfed the Internet while driving.’’
In November last year, tougher penalties were introduced for illegal use of mobile phones and other units that were not driver’s aids.
Penalties are a $433 fine and the loss of four demerit points.
Learners, P1 and P2 plated drivers must not use a phone at all while driving.
Shepparton Swans and Benalla both had altered coaching panels for the Goulburn Valley Football League grand final rematch on Saturday.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
Anyone yet to experience the sport of croquet is welcome to come along to the Rich River club lawns on Sunday to try it out.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Penalty goal spells heartbreak.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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