Drivers still distracted in week long blitz – but numbers show decrease, South Australia

Police have detected 124 drivers illegally using a mobile phone during a week-long blitz on the state’s roads, representing a 73 per cent decrease from the last operation of the same kind.

Operation Fatal Distraction ran from Monday 21 – Sunday 27 September and focused on motorists committing distraction based offences in relation to mobile phone use, interacting with social media and any other behaviour which may cause inattention.

The previous Operation Fatal Distraction was conducted last month (24 – 30 August) and resulted in 459 drivers being caught risking their lives and the lives of others by using their mobile phone whilst driving.

Officer in Charge Traffic Services Branch, Superintendent Bob Gray, said the decrease in distraction based offences was a pleasing improvement but warns that drivers cannot become complacent when it comes to dangerous driver behaviours.

“If this decrease in distraction based offences is the beginning of a trend towards safer road use, we will be very pleased,” said Supt Gray.

“But we track these things over a long period of time to measure whether driver attitudes and behaviours are genuinely changing.”

In the meantime, Supt Gray says police will never stop reminding drivers of their responsibility to protect themselves and the lives of other people on the road.

“The complex task of driving is one that requires full attention and even the smallest lapse in concentration can have catastrophic consequences for drivers, passengers, riders and pedestrians.

Driving while distracted can significantly impair reaction times, ability to maintain speed, judge safe gaps in traffic and notice other users on the road,” Supt Gray said.

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