Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Phone in Car Risk Conceded

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Phone in Car Risk Conceded

Article excerpt

Nat Bromhead

nat.bromhead@dailymercury.com.au

KEEP your eyes on the road. It's a message we are used to hearing from police but is now being echoed by the nation's peak mobile communications industry body.

And they have startling facts to back them up. In-car distractions such as reaching for a mobile phone can increase the risk of a crash by almost 10 times.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), has kicked off a campaign titled Keep Your Eyes On the Road - how to reduce risk when driving and using a mobile phone.

Chris Althaus, chief executive officer of AMTA, said reaching for a phone, dialling or reading and writing text messages significantly increased the risks of crashing or having to take evasive action to avoid a crash.

He said the mobile phone industry would welcome a national approach to driving laws and mobile phone use.

Mr Althaus said more effort was required to increase drivers' awareness about the risks involved with phone tasks and to clarify exactly how drivers could legally use their phones, namely in conjunction with hands-free devices. …

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