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Call for total ban on phone use by drivers – Victorian Coroner

By 20 November 2013News & Articles

At GC Law we have mentioned the risks of accidents whilst using a mobile device in a number of articles on our web site, and interesting to note the Victorian coroner is now suggesting amending the road rules in Victoria to ban any mobile phone use whilst driving.

The following article appeared on SkyNews on Friday the 15th of November and we have included it here for you to read.

” Talking on a mobile phone hands-free while driving should be banned because it presents as great a risk of crashing as holding the phone, a coroner says.

Victorian Coroner Heather Spooner suggests VicRoads amend the road safety rules to ban any mobile phone use while driving. She also wants authorities to look at developing in-car technologies to prevent drivers from using a mobile.

Research shows the risk of crashing using a mobile hands-free is equal to the hand-held use, Ms Spooner said. The coroner found Melissa Ryan, 32, was most likely distracted because she was talking on her phone when a B-double truck ran into the back of her Volkswagen Golf on the Monash Freeway in January 2011.

Monash University Accident Research Centre director Professor Mark Stevenson said 2005 research led to hand-held mobile phone use being banned but the ban should have included hands-free talking.

‘Hands-free mobile phone use while driving needs to be a focus in terms of prevention,’ he said.

Professor Stevenson said ways of blocking phone use in ‘a localised field’ around the driver are being developed but the system would need to be automated to ensure the ban would be effective.

‘A number of motor vehicle companies are developing automated systems to block incoming and outgoing calls while the vehicle is in use,’ he said.

A spokesperson said VicRoads welcomed the coroner’s findings and will consider suggestions pertaining to mobile phone use.”

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The legislation – How it affects you

It is illegal in all Australian states and territories to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving. This includes talking, texting, playing games, taking photos or video and using other phone functions.

Using a hand-held mobile phone is also illegal when your vehicle is stationary but not parked (when stopped at a traffic light).

It is illegal to use a hands-free phone while driving if it causes you to lose proper control of your vehicle.

Learner and P1 drivers are not permitted to use a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving.

The most common types of crashes associated with mobile phone usage are “run off the road” and “rear end” crashes.

If you or any member of your family or close friends is involved in a car accident it is important to be fully aware of your rights and what compensation for personal injury you may be able to claim.

At GC Law we are personal injury experts and can help you assess your potential claim, you can even use our Free Case Review process to start your compensation claim.

For more information on car accident claims call us to speak to one of our lawyers on 1 300 302 388 or start a live chat session and talk with a GC Law lawyer today.

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