Senior Constable Mark Woitowitz is part of a police blitz targeting mobile phone use while driving.
Senior Constable Mark Woitowitz is part of a police blitz targeting mobile phone use while driving. Renee Pilcher

Stp ur car 2 txt a msg n ph call

IF YOU text or talk on your mobile while driving, you need to be aware Gympie police are cracking down on phone use this week.

Chances are you have seen someone texting in a car in front or beside you while driving, or you have read a quick message yourself while behind the wheel.

But this risky behaviour could be fatal, police warn.

Officer-in-charge of Gympie police, Senior Sergeant Graeme Reeves, said there had been an increase in mobile phone offences.

"Statistics show the use of mobile phones while driving, especially texting, increases the risk of a crash," he said.

"The message isn't getting through, particularly in the younger generation.

"People need to pull over and stop. Using your phone while driving means a lack of concentration which could result in a serious crash."

Police have called the statewide operation Focus.

Phase one started on Tuesday with police coming down hard on people using mobile phones while driving.

When it ends next Monday, police will start phase two, which will target seatbelt offences until February 27.

"It's a high-profile operation targeting the use of mobile telephones by drivers and targeting the wearing of seatbelts," he said.

"There's been a number of fatalities recently in which people were not wearing seatbelts."

Snr Sgt Reeves said the Gympie district would have extra police assigned to the operation.

 

Dangerous driving

Using a mobile phone while driving can impair reaction time, visual search patterns, ability to maintain speed and road position, ability to judge safe gaps in traffic and general awareness.

Research shows texting while driving reduces reaction times more than drink-driving.

Not wearing seatbelts is one of the fatal four.

In March 2010, new legislation came into place regarding child restraints, age limits, size of the child, but most importantly, protection for the child in the motor vehicle.

Police can issue tickets to drivers for failing to wear a seatbelt, and to drivers who fail to ensure their passengers under the age of 16 are secure.

Gympie Times


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