The Dom Post reports:
Mr Joyce confirmed yesterday he expected recommendations to land on his desk by the end of the week after lengthy public consultation.
But he has made his intentions clear a ban on texting while driving was a “no-brainer” and he had sympathy for the view that taking calls on a hand-held cellphones should be outlawed.
Hands-free cellphone kits would be allowed.
I look forward to seeing the research that says hands-free cellphones are safer to use in a car than hand-held ones.
Road safety experts suggest that drivers are nine times more likely to have a crash if they are using a cellphone, and cellphone use has been blamed for close to 100 crashes a year.
This is correct, but let us out in context. In 2007 cellphone use contributed to 94 out of 11,667 crashes. That is 0.8% of crashes. And only 3.2% of crashes are fatal, so that suggests three fatal crashes a year have cellphone use as a factor (that does not mean no cellphone use would have resulted in no accident – there are often many factors).
But let us look at all things that are cited as having caused a distraction that was a factor in a crash:
- 262 – cigarette, radio, glove box
- 130 – scenery
- 122 – passengers
- 96 – cellphone
- 30 – animal/insect in vehicle
So are we going to ban radios? Are we going to ban passengers? How about banning animals – that may stop 30 crashes a year.
106 crashes have a factor if impairment due to old age? Should old people be banned from driving?