Drive phone free

by Anonymous Author

Only 75% of Selwyn residents acknowledge the high risk involved in texting while driving.

That’s one of the findings of a recent survey carried out by Selwyn District Council, as part of a nationwide Drive Phone Free campaign.

The campaign aims to increase driver awareness that talking on the phone, texting or even checking a hand held mobile phone while driving puts them and other road users at risk.

Selwyn Road Safety Coordinator Ngaire Tinning said with cellphones now a large part of many people’s lives it can be difficult to ignore them when driving.

“However, it is important to remember to put them away. It’s not just ourselves we have to think about when driving,” she said.

“We can all do our part in increasing road safety by not using phones in any way when driving, but we should also encourage others to do the same.

“We all hold a responsibility to provide a good example for younger passengers by choosing to ignore our phones or turning them off when driving.”

The current law makes it illegal to use hand-held mobile phones while driving. This includes making, receiving or terminating a phone call, creating, sending or even reading a text or email and creating, sending or viewing a video message. Mrs Tinning said hands-free devices are often considered as a solution to minimise the risk of driver distraction.

“While they do decrease the visual and manual risk they don’t minimise cognitive distraction, meaning drivers’ minds are not focussed on the road.”