Pharrell amplifies campaign against motoring carnage

Pharrell Williams - NRMA blog

Don’t text and drive

The NRMA has today joined a global campaign designed to reduce the number of people killed on roads across the world, particularly those caused by drivers being distracted by smartphones and other technology.

Ads featuring multi-Grammy and international award winner Pharrell Williams highlight the risks associated with using your mobile device while driving.

The advertising will appear on over 200 bus shelters across NSW with the message that 3,500 people are killed in road crashes globally each day: this is supported by the social media campaign #3500LIVES.

NRMA President Kyle Loades said while the horrific road toll was a global epidemic, the pain and suffering caused by people dying needlessly behind the wheel was local.

“Deaths on our roads rip families apart and decimate local communities and the NRMA is today very committed to the FIA’s global response to this international scourge,” he said.

“Pharrell Williams is not happy about the fact that motorists, and in particular young people, are using smartphones behind the wheel – and nor should he be, because we know that this practice is killing people.”

Local statistics around driver distractions are alarming: in the five years to 2014, there were 236 crashes where hand-held mobile phone use by drivers were identified as a contributing factor, including seven deaths and 116 injury crashes, and more than 38,000 fines were issued for the infringement in the past year alone.

However, the NRMA is concerned that these figures are under-reported because of the difficulty of finding evidence of illegal mobile phone use at crash scenes.

“The message is simple – we have clear rules around when you can and can’t use your phone behind the wheel,” Mr Loades said.

“Please abide by these rules because it will save you from losing four points and a $325 fine: crucially, it might help save your life or stop you from killing someone else.”

The global campaign was launched in Paris last week, with Sydney’s campaign starting today with advertising to appear on bus shelters across NSW.

For more NRMA Advocacy content, click here.

5 rules passengers should never break

Follow this passenger etiquette to keep all your friends and maintain a happy in-car environment.

Passenger Rules

If you want to ride in the passenger seat (‘shotgun’) there are certain rules you must be aware of.

Everyone hates a back-seat driver. But there are many other annoying things passengers do that can get under the skin of drivers. If you commute often with friends or family, you’ll recognise the below responsibilities that aren’t taken seriously.

The Aux Cable
The auxiliary cable connects your media device to the vehicle’s sound system. Those who hold it are responsible for the auditory enjoyment of everyone in the car. TIP: Keep a driving playlist of the best driving songs on standby so if your passenger is not performing as ‘car DJ’ you can take action. The same applies for Bluetooth connection.

Car Doors
Some passengers just don’t understand how irritating it is when someone gets in (or out) of your vehicle and slams the door. Unless the car door cannot close properly, there’s no need to close the door with huge force. TIP: Don’t slam the door.

Door Slam Meme

HADOUKEN: Doors are designed to be closed, not slammed.

Air Conditioning
During the summer this simple feature can make or break friendships if not used correctly and fairly. Agree on a temperature and sick to it, if there is ever an argument the drivers wishes take priority. TIP: Keep your car cool during the summer while parked to avoid heated arguments.

Radio Tuning
Similar to the aux cable, music playing in the car can be the difference between an enjoyable journey and a nightmare commute. Use the presets set by the owner of the car as these are more likely to be decent radio stations with good signal strength within the area. Never reprogram the presets the owner has set. TIP: Use the scan function to find nearby stations.

Eating and drinking
Okay, so there’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to the fast food drive-through. Does the driver order on behalf of the car, or does the passenger lean over to order their meal? Eating in the car is legal as long as you ask the driver first, but please do not chew with you mouth open or make any annoying chewing noises as this can drive some travelers crazy. TIP: Buy the driver’s meal as a thank you instead of offering petrol money.

What passenger behaviour grinds your gears?

Ask NRMA: Air conditioning or windows down?

 

air-conditioning-windows

Do you prefer to have your windows down or the air conditioning on?

Tips for economical driving have long been debated by motoring experts and day-to-day drivers. While there are a few no-brainers such as keeping your vehicle light and going easy on the acceleration, working out which is the better option between using the air conditioning or keeping the windows down continues to divide opinions.

And with good reason.

There is simply no way to get an exact answer on which option saves more money unless you were to drive the exact same vehicle, at the same speed and in the same weather conditions. Aerodynamics differ greatly between vehicles, and this impacts the drag faced when driving with the windows down.

Each car will have a different air conditioning system too, so while one may cause car’s speed and fuel economy to rapidly diminish, a different and more modern vehicle may see far better results.

There’s also other factors that can come into play. High winds will create more drag and high temperatures will force your air conditioner to work harder to keep a cabin cool.

“Sometimes it’s simply easier to wind the windows down, particularly during times of high and dry humidity,” says Matt from NRMA Motoring Advice. “It’s during these times that the a/c system fights an uphill battle to cool the cabin. This is due to minimised moisture within the atmosphere which the a/c condenser relies upon to cool the high pressure a/c gas as it charges through the system.”

Driver and passenger comfort need to be taken into account, and aside from the scenario above, there are undoubtedly times where air conditioning is an asset. Arriving to an interview or a date in a sweaty mess because you were too cheap to run the air conditioning isn’t going to do you any favours.

The opposite is also true from time to time. Are you really too precious to enjoy some fresh air coming in through the window? One of life’s great joys is the freedom of driving with the wind in one’s hair, although travelling down a freeway with the windows open and incessant sound of wind gusting by can be tiresome.

There’s even a select few that like to have their windows down while the air conditioning is running, but this is completely counterproductive from an economy perspective.

Perhaps it’s best to use a very basic rule of thumb. When travelling slowly (60km/h or less) it’s more economical to have your windows down. If, however, you’re at high speed (100km/h or more) the drag created by having your windows down is worse on your wallet than using your air conditioning.

Whichever you choose to do, make sure you stay safe on the roads and follow our guidelines for hot weather driving.

How do you like to stay cool when behind the wheel?

When can you drive an unregistered vehicle legally?

driving_unregistered_nsw

Driving an unregistered vehicle is illegal and potentially dangerous.

It’s important to have your registration renewal organised before it expires if you intend on driving a vehicle. If you’re caught driving an unregistered vehicle, you may be fined, and police may remove the number plates on the spot. Police may also seize the vehicle.

With this said there are some instances in NSW when you can drive an unregistered vehicle legally but only provided that the vehicle is safe for use on the road. Let’s outline these two scenarios below:

1. Driving an unregistered vehicle to obtain registration:

It’s actually more common than you think but if your vehicle’s registration has lapsed you may find that you are required to drive to certain locations to obtain registration such as driving directly to your inspection station or to a registry. You can do this legally but you must use the most direct or convenient route.

If you’re still unsure whether it is legal to do so the Roads & Maritime Services has defined specific circumstances and locations in NSW which you can travel to get your car registered here.

But what happens if you are pulled over by the police while driving an unregistered vehicle to obtain registration?

You will be asked to provide evidence that the vehicle is being driven for the purpose of obtaining registration. In this scenario it’s a good idea to keep a copy of the safety check or CTP insurance certificate (which shows payment for that day) on-hand which you can show to the police officer.

2. Drive or ride an unregistered vehicle on the road network for a specific journey.

Common examples of a specific journey could be purchasing an unregistered vehicle in NSW and driving it interstate or for the purpose of harvesting during a defined period.

Buying a used car? CarHistory Report is a comprehensive report on the history of a used motor vehicle that has been registered in Australia.

In such scenarios the driver should apply for an Unregistered Vehicle Permit (UVP) which is valid for the duration of one specific journey.

The cost for a permit includes the permit fee and CTP insurance. Motorists driving a vehicle with a valid UVP are eligible for NRMA roadside assistance.

It’s important to note that an Unregistered Vehicle Permit should not be used as a substitute for registration. Any old number plates must be removed from the vehicle and surrendered at a service centre when applying for a UVP permit and once the application has been processed you’ll be issued with a permit and label. Make sure you have the label clearly displayed at all times to avoid any fines.

For more information on how to apply for an Unregistered Vehicle Permit, visit the RMS website.

Have you applied for UVP before?

*The information contained on this webpage is provided for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. While we endeavour to ensure the information is complete and up to date, we make no warranties as to the accuracy or any other aspect of the information and accept no responsibility for any loss or damage you may suffer as a result or your reliance on any part of it. Links to other websites are inserted for convenience only and do not constitute endorsement of material on those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service. 

Ask NRMA: Can you use a mobile phone while supervising a learner driver?

An NRMA Member recently asked: “When instructing a learner driver, is the supervisor permitted to use a mobile phone? I myself have a teenager who is only just starting out and I would NOT use my phone regardless of the law.” 

SDS

HANDS OFF IT: Avoid using the radio, mobile phone or talking to other passengers while a learner is practising.

Answer: There is no specific rule that says it is illegal for a Supervisor to use a mobile phone while instructing a learner, however Section 16(a) of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2008 states:

A person accompanying a learner in a vehicle being driven by the learner on a road or road related area (other than a person submitting the learner to a driving test for any of the purposes of this Regulation) must:

(a)  supervise the learner with respect to the driving of the vehicle, 

(b)  take all reasonable precautions to prevent a contravention of the road transport legislation.

It would appear that a supervisor texting, talking on a mobile phone or performing another function on a phone would arguably result in the supervisor not supervising the learner driver and the supervisor could receive a fine of $108.00 with no demerit points for breach of this section.

It should also be noted that a supervisor of a learner driver is also responsible for taking all reasonable precautions to prevent a contravention of the road transport legislation as per Section 16(b) of the Road Transport (Driver Licensing) Regulation 2008.

Being distracted while using a mobile phone could also result in the Supervisor receiving a fine fine of $108.00 with no demerit points under this section, if the Learner driver being supervised were to breach a NSW Road Rule.

What do you think?

The information contained on this webpage is provided for general information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice or as a substitute for legal advice. 

While we endeavour to ensure the information is complete and up to date, we make no warranties as to the accuracy or any other aspect of the information and accept no responsibility for any loss or damage you may suffer as a result or your reliance on any part of it. Links to other websites are inserted for convenience only and do not constitute endorsement of material on those sites, or any associated organisation, product or service.

Related content:

How to help your Learner Driver
Do parents make good driving instructors?
Mobile phones and driving
Changes for L and P plate drivers