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One in three young drivers admit to taking a "selfie"

One in three young drivers admit to taking a "selfie"

Safety experts concerned about new research that shows young drivers are taking "selfies" behind the wheel.

One out of every three young drivers in a recent survey has admitted to taking a "selfie" behind the wheel, as Australia’s peak motoring body warns many are still ignorant of the tragic consequences and the hefty fines.
A survey of 7000 drivers aged 18 to 24 found that texting and talking are only part of the dangers posed by smartphones in cars.
According to a survey commissioned by Ford, one-in-three young British drivers admitted to taking a "selfie" while on the move, ahead of those in Germany (28 per cent) and France (28 per cent).

Meanwhile, just as many young drivers admitted to using social media apps or websites while behind the wheel.

The survey found that taking a photo can distract a driver for 14 seconds, enough for a car travelling at 100kmh/h to cover the length of more than three football fields.

A study by Monash University in Melbourne found drivers are 2.8 times more likely to crash when dialing a phone than when driving undistracted.

"Any distraction while on the road is dangerous, particularly for inexperienced drivers," said the chief executive of the Australian Automobile Association, Andrew McKellar. "(But) taking a photo or a selfie while driving is extremely dangerous."
In December 2012, 20-year-old Brooke Richardson crashed at 100km/h near Cobram on the NSW-Victoria border moments after sending a text message.
The coroner found she dropped the phone, bent down to pick it up and swerved to the wrong side of the road and hit a tree.
The death came one month after the NSW Government launched its "Get Your Hands Off It" campaign.
In August 2013, 26-year-old Sarah Durazza died after crashing her car into a tree on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
Her boyfriend told police he was talking to her on her mobile phone at the time of the incident, and heard the impact.
Meanwhile, Mr McKellar said most young drivers are unaware of the penalties they are risking.
Drivers caught using a mobile phone in most states and territories accrue three demerit points -- four in Victoria -- and the fines are up to $433.
To remove any ambiguity, the laws have changed to make it illegal to even handle a phone unless it is in a secure cradle or windscreen mounting.
Many drivers are unaware it is illegal to use a phone whether it’s in your lap, away from your ear -- or simply holding it, even if a call is not being made.
Many states also ban P-Plate drivers from using a phone even when used with a hands-free device.
"If you get caught using your phone while driving you could come close to losing your licence, especially if you’re on your P-Plates," said Mr McKellar.
He said there is an increasing need for passengers to take responsibility for road safety.
"If you see your friend doing something dangerous then stop them. If you want to take a selfie while on the road, you should take the bus," said Mr McKellar.

Is that phone call worth a quarter of your licence?

NSW: $311 and three demerit points (school zone $405)
How many caught: 36,584 (2012-13)
NSW Police says: Learner and Provisional P1 drivers are not allowed to use any function of a phone (including hands-free) while driving.
Victoria: $433 and four demerit points
How many caught: 55,000 (2012)
Victoria Police says: Learners and P platers are not allowed to use any function of a phone (including hands-free) while driving for three years. You can be fined for holding your phone while driving. There is no legitimate reason to be simply holding your mobile phone while driving. We suggest drivers put their phone out of reach to avoid any temptation and, if there is an emergency, park their car safely before using their phone.
Queensland: $341 and three demerit points
How many caught: 28,700 (2013)
Queensland Police says:  The following is illegal (a) holding the phone to, or near, the ear, whether or not engaged in a phone call; (b) writing, sending or reading a text message on the phone; (c) turning the phone on or off; (d) operating any other function of the phone.
South Australia: $368 and three demerit points
How many caught: 12,601 (2013)
SA Police says: To avoid doubt, nothing in subrule (2) (b) authorises a person to use a mobile phone by pressing a key on the phone, or by otherwise manipulating the body or screen of the phone, if the phone is not secured in a mounting affixed to the vehicle.
West Australia: $250 and three demerit points
How many caught: 14,549 (2013)
WA Police says: A trial of unmarked motorcycles during the Christmas road safety campaign in 2013 led police to issue 1379 infringements for mobile phone use during a 30 day period.
Tasmania: $300 and three demerit points
How many caught: 2700 (2013)
Tasmania Police says: All functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited. Holding the phone (whether or not engaged in a phone call) is also prohibited.  "Holding" includes resting the mobile phone on your lap, or between your chin and shoulder, or passing the phone to a passenger. 
Northern Territory: $250 and three demerit points for P-Plate drivers, $60 fine and three demerit points for fully licenced drivers
How many caught: N/A
NT Police says: The driver of a vehicle can make or receive a phone call on a mobile phone if the phone is either secured in a mounting fixed to the vehicle or remotely operated. All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited. There must be no touching of the keypad unless the phone is fixed to the vehicle. The driver may touch the ear piece or headset to operate the phone or pass it to a passenger.
Australian Capital Territory: $357 and three demerit points
How many caught: N/A
ACT Police says: t is an offence to use a mobile phone which is held in the hand while driving a vehicle. This includes sending or reading text messages, video messages and emails. You can only use a mobile phone to make or receive phone calls if your phone has a hands free connection or is secured in a commercially designed cradle.