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Txting ties up the brain as well as the hands!

Txting ties up the brain as well as the hands!

Living Streets Aotearoa Media release for immediate use
11th June 2008

Living Streets Aotearoa President, Celia Wade-Brown, says the Government's proposal to ban hand held phones is welcome but doesn't go far enough.

"It's not just the physical distraction, it's the sense of the driver being absent from the real driving situation. Trying to catch a driver's eye as a turning cyclist or pedestrian waiting at a crossing is MUCH more difficult if the driver's on the phone."

"The study Transport Research Laboratory (UK) carried out for Direct Line insurance company, published in March 2002, showed that even a hands-free phone impaired reaction times MORE than being at the legal limit of alcohol use. Social pressure is against drink-driving and the majority of people are against phone-driving."

"It's bad enough that drivers texting or talking don't indicate or change gear appropriately because their hands are full. They are not concentrating on the road so they won't notice dangers and can't brake early enough. Using a phone in a moving car is not safe and must be banned." says the councillor and mother-of-two.

"Our children need to be safe enough on our roads to walk or cycle to school and to their friends or family. Elderly people must feel free to walk to the shops while they can, without the risk of being bowled because someone is chatting or texting on their mobile. "

Shorter journeys will only be walked more rather than driven when people feel safe on foot. These "cold start" journeys contribute disproportionately to NZ's greenhouse emissions because engines run inefficiently before they are warmed up. Walking also contributes to mental and physical health, alertness and makes friendly neighbourhoods.


ENDS

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