02 January 2008

Driving and dialling

While I was having lunch today at a café in Victoria St I was amazed by the number of people driving past with a phone clamped to their ear. It was more than half of all the drivers that went past, so I counted them for 15 minutes: 32.

Last year I was almost hit on a pedestrian crossing by a woman driving while on the phone. She screeched to a stop – on the crossing – and then carried on, one hand on the horn, the other on the phone, so not only was she behaving as if it was my fault, she was also driving with no hands.

It’s illegal to drive while using a mobile phone, and the penalty is a $225 fine and 3 demerit points, yet everyone does it. Why isn’t this law being enforced? All the research says driving while on the phone increases your chances of being involved in an accident fourfold. A single cop where I was today – a relatively quiet street – could have easily issued $28,800 worth of fines in an hour, so I don’t want to hear about costs.

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