Drivers aren’t getting the message about using a mobile phone

Cowra police netted three motorists on the phone in a statewide traffic blitz.
Cowra police netted three motorists on the phone in a statewide traffic blitz.

Cowra police netted three motorists on the phone during a statewide traffic blitz last week.

The three were among 1200 infringements issued statewide with police saying NSW drivers are ignoring the message not to text and drive.

The statewide operation, which targeted dangerous driver behaviour across NSW, also saw 137 infringements handed out for not keeping left, and 586 infringements for defective vehicles. 

Cowra Highway Patrol issued five defect notices during the operation.

“It’s very prevalent,” Sgt Colin Shiel of Cowra Highway Patrol said of mobile phone use in the district.

“People being distracted while driving is not a good idea,” he added of the increasing use of phones, but added it was a difficult offence for police to detect.

“They can see us coming a mile away unless we’re in an unmarked car,” he said.

Drivers caught using their phones face a $330 fine and the loss of four demerit points, but NSW Traffic & Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Michael Corboy, says motorists appear undeterred. 

"Despite the numerous warnings and obvious dangers to drivers and innocent road users, the message not to text and drive is just not getting through," he said.

"For anyone to take their eyes and concentration off the road and onto a phone while driving shows a complete disregard for personal safety and the safety of everyone else on the road," he said.