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Road Safety Trust supports consideration of ban

11 June 2008 Media Statement

Road Safety Trust supports consideration of hand-held phone ban for vehicle drivers

The Road Safety Trust welcomes today’s announcement that the Government will consider amending the Land Transport (Road User) Rule 2004 to ban the use of hand held mobile phones while driving a vehicle.

The Trust has recently embarked on a pilot advertising campaign to help raise public awareness of the issue of distractions while driving. Use of hand held mobile phones while driving a vehicle is seen as a growing road safety risk.

“Research shows that using a mobile phone while driving significantly increases a driver’s risk of being involved in a crash,” Chair Yvonne Sharp said.

Mobile phones differ from other driver distractions such as the radio or talking to a passenger because of the frequency and nature of the interaction required.

Other distractions such as talking to passengers, eating or smoking can be modified during demanding traffic situations.

For example, passengers are aware of the road environment and will generally stop talking during a dangerous driving situation, allowing the driver to concentrate fully. A person on the other end of a mobile phone, however, is not aware of any potential hazards and will often continue to talk, distracting the driver at critical moments.

The Trust encourages all interested parties to participate in the public consultation of the Rule that is scheduled to be released in July 2008.

For more information on driver distraction and the Road Safety Trust’s ‘Keep Your Eyes on the Action’ advertising campaign, visit www.landtransport.govt.nz/road-user-safety/driver-distraction/index.html.

The Road Safety Trust is a Crown Entity that receives its funding from a share of the proceeds of personalised licence plate sales. The Trust funds community safety initiatives, training, education and private sector technological developments beneficial to road safety.

ENDS

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