ACT Policing today ramped up its zero tolerance campaign against the use of a handheld mobile phone when driving to address the ever-increasing problem of driver distraction.
For the months of August and September, police will be out in force and if you’re using your phone while driving, expect to get caught and fined.
The targeted campaign is part of a whole-of-government approach to road safety comprising law enforcement, advertising and public relations.
“With the road toll already at 17 this year, we are heading towards our worst result since 2005. We need to look at consolidated ways to ensure the message is getting through, and ultimately, that people drive to stay alive,” Deputy Chief Police Officer Bruce Hill said.
“Driver distraction is one of the key contributing factors to road trauma, and using a handheld mobile phone is the most common and significant distraction of all.
“Drivers need to be aware that if they are caught using a handheld mobile phone, they will be fined $271 and lose three demerit points.
“The instruction to our officers over the next two-month zero-tolerance period is that no Cautions should be issued for this offence; all offenders will be issued with a Traffic Infringement Notice.”
To reinforce this tough stance, Variable Message Boards (VMBs) will be positioned at locations throughout the territory and will display a range of powerful new communications such as “VODAPHONE, TELSTRA, OPTUS / WILL NOT PAY YOUR FUNERAL”.
“If people find these in-your-face-style of messages offensive then so be it; it’s more important that the safety message cuts through and people start paying attention to it,” DCPO Hill said.