Mobiles industry backs NSW’s “Get Your Hand Off It” campaign


12 June 2013 The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the New South Wales road safety campaign, “Get Your Hand Off It”, and recommends that motorists “Keep their hands off it” by buying, installing and using a cradle or  Bluetooth when driving.
AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said AMTA’s members – Telstra, Optus, Virgin Mobile and Vodafone – had backed the Minister for Roads, Duncan Gay, and the Centre for Road Safety’s campaign.
“We welcome this important initiative to warn drivers about the dangers of taking their eyes off the road when using mobile phones,” he said. “We endorse the NSW Government’s new road rules that make it clear to drivers that they can only use their mobile in a cradle or via Bluetooth.
“AMTA’s Keep Your Eyes on the Road brochure informs drivers how to comply with the law by buying, installing and using a cradle and using their smartphones’ features to reduce driving distractions. It targets the clearly dangerous, illegal and unacceptable practice of texting, which has a 23.2 times greater risk of a crash.”
Download AMTA’s brochure on how to reduce risk when driving and using a mobile phone here
·         Buy, install and use a cradle for your phone: The Australian Road Rules require drivers to place their mobiles in approved cradles affixed to the dashboard or windscreen so they are looking at the road ahead and not glancing down. Drivers can also use a Bluetooth provided they do not touch their handset. Study the road rules for hands-free mobile use in your State or Territory.
·         Use your smartphone’s features: Smartphones provide voice-activated dialling and automatic answering features to reduce the effort of making and receiving a call and allow drivers’ eyes to remain on the road at all times. You can install apps that limit a phone to calling and voice activation. Smart drivers use their handsets’ technology to reduce driving distractions.
·         Never text – it’s illegal and very dangerous: Texting drivers take their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds over a six-second interval. This means that at 60kph a driver is not watching the road for 75-metres or half the length of the SCG or MCG! This also applies to reading emails, engaging in social media and browsing the web. It’s also illegal to text when stopped at traffic lights because although your car is stationary it’s not legally parked.
·         Don’t always answer your mobile: Hands-free mobiles in cars are legal in all States and Territories. However, this does not mean it’s appropriate for drivers to use them at all times. Drivers should not make calls in heavy traffic, at intersections or in bad weather or poor road conditions. If a call is not necessary or you consider it unsafe to answer at the time, don’t answer the call. Let it divert to voicemail or an answering service.
For further information contact Randal Markey, AMTA Communications Manager, (02) 6239 6555 or 0421 240 550