Technology

SA police crackdown catches 459 drivers on their phones in one week

SA police crackdown catches 459 drivers on their phones in one week

More than 450 people have been caught illegally using their mobile phones behind the wheel during a one-week police crackdown.

The statewide ‘Fatal Distraction’ operation, which ran from August 24 to 30, focused on distracted drivers and found 459 people illegally used a mobile phone while driving.

SA Police figures suggested 43 per cent of deaths and 48 per cent of serious injuries were attributed to inattention between 2015 and 2019.

It is also attributed to more than half of this year’s road fatalities.

Traffic Service Branch’s officer in charge Superintendent Bob Gray said its was disappointing that drivers still put their lives and other road users at risk by driving while distracted.

“Driving is a complex task, requiring drivers to use and coordinate a number of skills,” Supt Gray said.

“Any lapse in concentration increases the risk of drivers, riders and pedestrians being involved in a crash.

“Driving while using a hand held phone can significantly impair reaction times, ability to maintain speed, judge safe gaps in traffic and notice other users on the road.”

Supt Gray said it was every motorist’s responsibility to understand the road rules.

South Australian provisional and learner licence holders are not allowed to interact with a mobile phone at all while driving.

Those on their full licence can use voice activated commands to operate their phones only if it is in a dedicated cradle and does not involve touching the device.