The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) is reminding motorists of the danger of using a mobile phone while behind the wheel over of the long weekend.
With heavier traffic and fatigue from setting off at the end of the (short) working week, AMTA Chief Executive Chris Althaus said the added distraction of a mobile phone can greatly increase the chance of a collision.
Its campaign focuses on the risks taken by drivers when they reach for mobile phones into pockets, consoles or bags.
AMTA believes most drivers are aware of the dangers of holding and using a phone while on the move, but they are less conscious of the level of distraction caused by reaching for the phone in the first instance.
The Association emphasised that using a mobile phone while secured in a cradle was not illegal, and that enforcing the use of cradles by mobile phone users while driving was an important law.
Mr Althaus said any activity that required drivers to take their eyes off the road greatly increased the risk to all road users.
“The most effective action that drivers can take this long weekend to reduce risks and comply with the law is to use mobiles in approved cradles or with Bluetooth devices to ensure that they keep their eyes looking on the road ahead,” Mr Althaus said.
“[However] drivers should not make calls in heavy traffic, at intersections or in bad weather or poor road conditions. If a call is unnecessary or you consider it unsafe at the time, don’t answer the call. Let it divert to voicemail or an answering service.”
Besides illegal mobile phone use, drink driving and seatbelts, police announced they would be focusing on low-range speeding ahead of the Easter and ANZAC Day weekends.