Saving Lives Together

Don’t be distracted this WA Day

Road Safety Chairman Iain Cameron has heard firsthand the tragic consequences of distracted driving for one West Australian family.

30 May 2019
Road users have been urged to keep their attention on the road this WA Day long weekend with distraction now a major contributor to road trauma on West Australian roads.

On 6PR this week, Mr Cameron and Morning Show host Gareth Parker heard the heartbreaking story of how a Perth mother lost her life because of distracted driving.

“My wife was 31, she was addicted to her telephone and she was killed in a car crash while she was texting,” shared talkback caller Christopher.

“She went through a stop sign and left myself and two small boys, all because she couldn’t get off her phone.”

Christopher said he shared his story to let the community know that distracted driving does claim lives on WA roads.

“There are consequences and it can happen to anyone,” said Christopher.

“If you think you’re too smart and you can phone and drive, the news is that one day you’re going to get caught out.”

The Road Safety Council Chairman thanked Christopher for bravely sharing his story.

“We appreciate you making the call, it’s really, really brave,” said Mr Cameron.

“This has obviously shattered your life, your family’s life and your boys, that’s something that no one wants.”

Last year, 29 lives were lost in crashes where WA Police Force found inattention was a factor, a 70 per cent increase on the preceding five-year average of 17 lives.

“We’ve got to get serious about this inattention and distraction message,’ said Mr Cameron.

“We can’t do two things at once well, and driving a motor vehicle, riding a bicycle or crossing a busy street requires us to be fully tuned in.

“We need to be aware that having a hands-free conversation on the phone, listening to a mentally-stimulating podcast or program on the radio or getting tired or drowsy are all forms of distraction that can lead to serious crashes on our roads.”

The WA Day double demerit points period is Friday 31 May to Monday 3 June inclusive.

WA Police Force will apply double demerits to all mobile phone, red light, seatbelt, speed and drink and drug driving offences.

Visit our Rules and Penalties page for more information on traffic laws in Western Australian.
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