Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Hon Michelle Roberts BA DipEd MLA

Former Minister for Police; Road Safety

    Distractions and drivers a deadly combination

    11/08/2019 10:45 AM
    • 18 per cent of deaths on WA roads in 2018 were caused by distracted drivers
    • Mobile phone use just one cause of driver distraction
    • A two second distraction when driving at 60 km/h is like driving blind for 33 metres

    The State Government has launched a new campaign on distracted driving to emphasise the point that distracted driving is the same as driving blind.


    As part of the campaign, two confronting television commercials make drivers aware of the distance they travel when their eyes are not on the road ahead.


    In one commercial, a young woman driver travelling at 60 km/h on a suburban street is distracted by changing music on her phone.


    With the driver distracted for just two seconds, the car travels 33m with potentially devastating consequences.


    The second commercial focuses on regional motorists, showing a driver travelling at 100 km/h who takes his eyes off the road for just two seconds to rummage around in his glove box. In that time, his vehicle has travelled 55m.


    Of the 159 people who died on Western Australian roads in 2018, the Western Australia Police Force determined 18 per cent of the deaths occurred in crashes where inattention was a factor.


    Road Safety Council figures show despite 95 per cent of WA drivers acknowledging the danger of using their mobile phone while driving, 50 per cent still continue to do so.


    The $1.1 million, two-year Distance of Distraction campaign will be funded from the Road Trauma Trust Account.


    Comments attributed to Road Safety Minister Michelle Roberts:


    "Driver distraction can be deadly.


    "We have a real problem with mobile phones, but it's not the only cause of driver distraction.


    "Drivers always need to keep their attention firmly on the road.


    "Distracted driving can have fatal consequences for the driver, their passengers, pedestrians, cyclists or other road users.


    "I hope this new campaign will lead all Western Australians to think about their driving and realise that even a brief moment of inattention could have lifelong consequences."


    Minister's office - 6552 6900