49 drivers were spotted using cellphones whilst driving on the inner-city Auckland motorway in the space of just one hour last week.
The Herald News Paper snapped pictures of the drivers texting and calling as they drove through ‘Spaghetti Junction’ at high speeds.
One drivers is even spotted with one hand holding his phone to his ear and the other holding a cigarette out of the window, with only his elbow on the steering wheel.
Cellphones played a part in two serious car accidents in the Waikato region this week, along with a fatal crash in the Bay of Plenty a fortnight ago.
During their stakeout, the Herald spotted 33 drivers taking phone calls while driving and 19 others texting or reading a text.
Amongst the traffic, the Herald also caught several other drivers distracted whilst driving, through eating and drinking, reading, listening to headphones, reading a map pressed against the steering wheel and reaching for things on the their seats.
In 2009 it became illegal to handle a cellphone whilst driving, but since then the number of recorded monthly offences has doubled.
One man towing a trailer was so busy fiddling with the phone kit on his dashboard that he almost took the wrong turn-off and made a risky lane change right in front of another car.
NZ Police and campaigns against texting whilst driving say that people need to start realising how serious the matter is.
They say ‘texts can wait. No text is worth someone’s life.’
Next week is Road Safety Week, and this year’s theme is driving distractions.
Article written by D Mulhern