INDEPENDENT NEWS

Police disappointed in number of Christchurch drivers caught

Published: Fri 18 Sep 2015 03:00 PM
Police disappointed in number of Christchurch drivers caught using mobile phones
Officer in Charge of Road Policing Operations, Senior Sergeant Scott Richardson says he is really disappointed at the large number of drivers caught using their mobile phones in Christchurch this week. “Despite the publicity surrounding the current Operation, focussing on the use of mobile phones and other distractions whilst driving, we are seeing far too many drivers texting and using their mobile phones. On one check-point alone over 100 people have been stopped by Police for using their mobile phones. A number of other drivers were stopped for driving without wearing a seat belt, running orange lights and exceeding the breath alcohol limits during the school day.”
“A lot of people appear to be driving with their mobile phones in their laps which creates a temptation to check your phone when it sounds or when you are stopped at traffic lights and intersections, both of which are illegal. To avoid this Police suggest that drivers should turn off their phones before they set off in their vehicle or secure it away from the reach of the driver.”
The current operation will continue throughout September and those caught will receive a $80 Infringement Offence Notice and 20 demerit points on their licence.
“Make sure you have hands free units for all the phones you intend to use in the car. This week one motorist was talking on his phone while the other device was linked to the in car hands free system. Other common acts included texting at traffic lights and disrupting the flow of traffic when the lights changed or holding the phone in their hand using the speaker function while driving” explained Senior Sergeant Richardson.
“Distractions were a factor in 21 fatal crashes in New Zealand during 2014 and can be linked to 10% of all serious crashes nationally. We urge drivers to consider whether a phone call or text is worth the risk of a crash, fine or loss of life. No call or text is that important. Pull to the side of the road and stop in a safe area before using your mobile phone or other device.”
ENDS

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