Mike Stevens | Mar 29, 2012

Distracted drivers are in the spotlight again this week, as Victoria Police reveal that more than 1000 infringement notices have been issued to distracted and unrestrained drivers over the past 12 months in South Melbourne alone.

The announcement comes after new data this week showed that offences for using a mobile phone while driving rose by seven percent in in 2011, and by 12 percent among learner and P1 drivers.

The operation continues, with marked and unmarked vehicles patrolling the area, along with uniformed officers and plain-clothed 'spotters'.

 

Statistics for Victoria

Mobile phone offences

2008/09

2009/10

2010/11

Use hand held mobile phone while driving

54111

53995

58271

Learner driver or holder of a P1 using any mobile phone

155

372

417

Recent studies by insurers NRMA and AAMI have found driver distraction to be a growing problem, with mobile phones and in-car technology proving too enticing for many motorists.

NRMA figures showed that 40 percent of motorists to frequent mobile phone use while driving, 88 percent make phone calls, and 68 percent use SMS and email services.

Around 40 percent admitted to using other apps while driving, 38 percent are guilty of taking photos while driving, and 25 percent admitted to "tweeting" or updating their Facebook status while driving.

A similar AAMI survey found that satellite navigation systems and music selection are distracting motorists, affecting 35 percent of 3740 motorists.

Talking on mobile phones while driving remains an issue for many, with 23 percent of respondents guilty of the offence.

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