Lowndes AMTA Driving Media Release

Whether racing or using his mobile, V8 star Craig Lowndes decides when the moment is right.


Using a mobile phone while driving on the street or passing on a racetrack’s main straight have one thing in common – you have to pick the right moment carefully, says champion V8 Supercar driver Craig Lowndes.


Mr Lowndes, three-time Australian Touring Car champion and four-time Bathurst 1000 winner, today launched some new driving tips for the safe use of mobiles phones during the holidays.


“When I am on the racetrack I know there are some places too dangerous to pass. When I am on the road I also know that it’s not appropriate to use my legal hands-free mobile phone in all circumstances because I have to concentrate 100% on what I am doing,” he said.


“We want drivers to make safety their most important call this Christmas.”


Mr Lowndes, who drives for Team Vodafone, has joined the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) to inform motorists about safe driving and mobile phone use during the holiday period.


 He said the following five golden rules are designed to assist drivers stay safe over the holiday driving season:


  1. Never use a hand-held mobile: They are illegal. You must use a hands-free kit or portable hands-free device. Some states also require you to place the phone in a commercially-designed cradle.

  2. Never look up phone numbers, the Internet or send emails or SMS: Always keep both eyes on the road and do not read or send SMS text messages or look at the internet. If required, use a directory assistance service to connect you directly to the number. Set your phone up to use short one-button dialling or voice-activated dialling.

  3. Do not call in heavy traffic, poor road conditions or bad weather: Don’t accept or make calls if traffic or road conditions make it unsafe. Even when traffic is light tell the person you are speaking to that you are driving and may end the call if conditions change.

  4. Do not engage in complex or emotional conversations: If a call becomes complex or emotional suspend the call. Complex and emotive conversations on a mobile or with passengers and driving don’t mix because they are distracting and dangerous.

  5. Plan your trip – Always preset GPS and try to make calls when stationary: Plan your trip and always preset your GPS software before you start and use turn-by-turn voice guidance (in those States that allow drivers to use GPS phones). Try to make calls when stationary or during rest breaks in long trips.


AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said the mobile telecommunications industry was very pleased to have a driver of Mr Lowndes’ skill and experience giving drivers practical advice on the dos and don’ts of mobile phones this summer.


“We stress that although a hands-free device can reduce the physical effort to make and receive calls, drivers have to carefully pick their moment and should avoid making calls in adverse traffic, road or weather conditions and avoid complex or emotional conversations,” he said.


AMTA’s complete safe driving tips can be found here.

For more information contact Randal Markey, AMTA, 0421 240 550