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Oz road safety strategy moots mobile phone ban

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An Australian road safety strategy draft released by the Standing Committee on Transport in the federal Department of Infrastructure and Transport has mooted a total ban on mobile phone use by drivers, at some indeterminate point.

The proposal, seized on by the Sydney Morning Herald as “States urged to impose total ban on mobile phone use in cars”, appears on page 49 of the 57-page report.

The report identifies speeding, drink driving, drug driving, not wearing seat belts and fatigue as the main causes of deaths and serious injuries to Australian drivers (page 8, if you’re interested).

Mobile phone use is sub-category of driver distraction, not even listed a top-five danger, along with the proliferation of sat-navs, onboard DVDs, complex sound systems, climate control, and excessive deployment of audio and visual signals for all aspects of vehicle operation.

The total ban on use (including hands-free use) is listed as an objective to be reached by 2020. The road safety report notes that all states have already tightened rules surrounding in-car mobile phone use.

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