An NRMA survey of almost 1,500 Members found that almost three-quarters (72%) ranked illegal phone use behind the wheel as their biggest road safety fear. The safety risk was voted a greater concern than:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol (56%)
- Speeding (55%)
- Aggressive driving (46%)
- Driving under the influence of drugs (41%)
- Driver fatigue (38%)
The NRMA’s 2017 report Can’t Talk Driving found almost one-fifth of drivers read texts while driving. Alarmingly, 15 per cent believed they would not get caught. The NRMA called for a crackdown on the behaviour and the NSW Government responded with tougher penalties and enforcement.
The survey highlighted the public’s comprehensive support for the role of Police. Over half (56%) said visible highway patrols were the most effective way to tackle bad driver behaviour. When combined with unmarked Police cars, that figure rose to 79 per cent.
The survey found that safety (speed and red light) cameras was voted as the third as most effective deterrent (9%).
NRMA Road Safety Expert Dimitra Vlahomitros said despite the fact speed continued to be the biggest killer on our roads it was the growing risk of distraction that caused so much alarm among drivers.