Editorial: Drivers defying laws on phones

By Don Farmer

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Don Farmer.
Don Farmer.

Something really needs to be done about drivers using cellphones.

The law forbidding their use while driving is being flouted, if not totally ignored.

As a person who drives more than 100km every day of the week I never fail to pass one, two or half-a-dozen drivers on a single journey chatting away gaily while holding a phone to their ear.

Some are extremely cheeky, doing so slap bang in the centre of town.

One I encountered just yesterday was making his way gingerly round a roundabout with a phone plastered to the side of his head.

That manoeuvre meant he had only partial control of the path his large 4WD vehicle was taking as it jerked round the roundabout, as he steered with one hand.

I don't expect police to be everywhere and nab the lot but they cannot just advise that we dob in those errant drivers.

It is not as easy as it may sound to get registration plate numbers and phone them in, nor is it everyone's desire to dob in other drivers.

But if there is a law, framed it is said, to prevent crashes and to safeguard other drivers' lives then the penalties must be of sufficient weight to deter.

I doubt they are.

We are constantly reminded of the evils of drink-driving and subjected to an advertising blitz on its perils and there is nothing wrong with that.

But meanwhile these addictive phone-users who thumb their nose at the law seem to slide under the radar.

It's a bit like the boy racers really.

Although phone-users don't congregate to rip up the road surfaces they nevertheless take to state highways and byways with less control over their vehicles than they should have and become greatly distracted from the task at hand simply to chat.

It is a rare event, in fact, on my journey to see a person who has pulled over before using a phone and when I do, it is a temptation to pull up and congratulate them.

As a final comment, although it is not exclusively females who are the culprits, young women seem to be the most to blame.

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