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Walking advocates want ban on cell phone use

Walking advocates want ban on cell phone use when driving

Living Streets Aotearoa Media release for immediate use

19th March 2008

"Why does the Government resile from banning cellphone use while driving?" asks Living Streets Aotearoa President, Celia Wade-Brown,

"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 pedestrian waiting at a crossing or a turning cyclist is much more difficult if the driver's on the phone."

Transport Research Laboratory (UK) carried out a study for Direct Line insurance company which showed that even a hands-free phone impaired reaction times more than being at the legal limit of alcohol use.

"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. People must feel free to walk to the shops without the risk of being bowled over because someone is chatting on their mobile."

Texting is a great way of keeping in touch but wholly inappropriate when driving. Mobile phones add greatly to connectivity and instant communication but Celia Wade-Brown insists there must be some limits on their use.

"Disengaging your hands, eyes or brain when driving is dangerous."she says. "With text messaging, you disengage all three."

ENDS


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