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.
Nathalia Secondary College principal John Sciacca will speak at Cool Heads tomorrow night about the night he came across the crash that killed Year 10 student Jess Hearn.
In a surprise announcement this morning the Burramine Sports Club has said there will be no Burramine Gift in 2015.
The Tatura and district Catholic community will celebrate the 51st staging of the Feast of St Donato on Saturday, August 2.
More than $30,000 was raised for the James McQuillan Future Fund through a nearest the pin competition at Moama Recreation Reserve on Saturday.
Shavanna Coghill, Harvey Keating, Nate MacFarlane and Holly Scoble were among children who enjoyed the first community playgroup in Rochester on Monday.
Lancaster Football Netball Club makes all families welcome.
St Mary's College staff member Rhonda Tallnash declared Queensland bush poet female champion.
Jerilderie thumped Yarroweyah by 185 points on Saturday with star forward Aaron Purcell leading the charge.
Heathcote landfill is open until Sunday for the free disposal of e-waste.
Barooga Lions Club's stalwart of deb balls calls it a day after 17 years of service.
The Deniliquin Wetlands Restoration Community Project has restored the balance to the Deniliquin lagoon system.
Tackling salinity in the Goulburn-Broken basin was a key element of a presentation made to an international forum in the United States last month.
The garden is the work of more than 100 people and has taken more than a decade to complete. Aboriginal community devleopment worker Chris Thorne shared stories of Benalla's Indigenous heritage.
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