RACV poll reveals drivers using phones the most concerning safety issue on roads

RACV External Communications

Posted February 29, 2024

A RACV poll has revealed that many Victorians consider drivers using phones one of their biggest road safety concerns.

This follows the latest figures from the Victorian Government that reveal over 17 million dollars in fines were issued  to drivers for breaching the distracted driving rules during the first six months of enforcement from detection cameras introduced in July last year.
From 1 July to 30 December 2023, 30,231 drivers were captured by the cameras, with drivers facing penalties of four demerit points and a fine of $577 for using a mobile device, including phones, when driving.

RACV Head of Policy James Williams said the distracted driving rules aimed to keep road users safe, reflecting the significant increase in technologies capable of distracting drivers.

“The RACV poll highlights that Victorians are still noticing people using their phones or devices while driving and they have highlighted it as their top safety concern on our roads,” Mr Williams said.

“Distracted driving is a major contributor to road crashes and we all need to do our part and make sure we put our devices away and concentrate on driving safely.

“This poll and the data from distracted driver cameras, highlights that we still need to focus on educating drivers about this rule – which, put simply, generally means don’t touch your unmounted or wearable device while you’re driving or sitting in traffic.”

Reminder: What drivers or riders who hold a full licence need to know about the road rules for portable devices

1.    Don’t touch your unmounted or wearable device while you’re driving or riding – this includes cars, motorbikes, bicycles, e-scooters and even rollerblades.

2.    Drivers may briefly touch a mounted device or inbuilt system for functions such as music and navigation, provided they are not entering text, scrolling, or viewing images, social media, websites, or videos.

3.    For wearable devices such as smart watches, you can’t touch the device while driving or riding. You can only use voice controls to initiate, accept or reject audio calls, play, or stream audio materials, or adjust volume levels.

4.    For mobile phones and tablets, the mounting must be commercially designed and manufactured for that purpose, and the device must be secured in the mounting.

For further information on the rules, including rules for Learner and Probationary drivers, please visit RACV’s road safety website page.

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