Selfie-ish drivers catch themselves in the act

SELFIE: Paige Igglesden pretends to take a selfie.
SELFIE: Paige Igglesden pretends to take a selfie. Greg Miller

THEY might be sitting pretty but drivers taking selfies are risking some ugly consequences.

The self(ie)-centred new thing to do with a phone while driving seems to be snapping a shot of yourself to mark the oh-so-special occasion.

The act is up there with checking social media, sending texts and making calls in the dangerous drivers' repertoire and the terrifying achievement of turning driving into a social event.

But Gympie Police Sergeant Rod Venn struggles to figure out why; and it's no surprise considering the number of fatal car crashes the sergeant has seen over the years.

And he assured motorists some of those crashes have involved the use of a mobile phone.

"Certainly I know of instances where an investigation has led to the use of a mobile phone.

"Why would you do it? It's gross stupidity.

"While you're doing that you're eyes are off the road.

"Something as simple as that could turn into tragedy."

Scary new research by RACQ has revealed almost half of young drivers surveyed admitted to using their mobile phones while driving.

The research found more than 49% of drivers surveyed between the ages of 16 and 24 confessed to using their phones while behind the wheel.

Which meant they were texting, calling, checking social media and taking selfies.

RACQ spokeswoman Lauren Ritchie said the dangerous selfie trend could cost guilty motorists not only a hefty on-the-spot fine, but potentially their life.

"Any distraction while on the road is dangerous, particularly for inexperienced drivers, and especially if you are taking time to snap a driver selfie," Ms Ritchie said.

"You're also breaking the law and capturing the evidence before posting it on the internet for the world to see. It's nothing short of stupid."

"Many drivers are unaware it is illegal to use a phone whether it's in your lap, away from your ear or simply holding it, even if a call is not being made," she said.

"The safest way to avoid the temptation of using your phone is to put it in the back seat or even the boot of your car.

"No text message or selfie is more important than your life or the life of others on the road."

dodgy call

Taking a photo could distract a driver for up to 14 seconds, enough for a car travelling at 100kmh to cover the length of more than three football fields.

Drivers caught using their mobile phones in Queensland risk a $341 fine and 3 demerit points.

Gympie Times

Topics:  driving photo selfie

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