Drivers have admitted internet banking, writing Facebook posts and even playing games on their smartphones while behind the wheel. But a new campaign has been designed to reduce these potentially dangerous habits.
The disturbing behaviour is revealed in an Auckland Transport survey as the council-controlled body today launches a new campaign encouraging motorists to publicly shame other road users for bad driving habits.
It is an offence to use a mobile phone for any reason while driving unless it is dash mounted and hands free. It is also illegal to use phones while stopped at a red light. People who flout the law can expect an $80 spot fine and 20 demerit points.
But the findings of an Auckland Transport survey of 211 drivers, suggest the message is not getting through.
66 per cent said they used the phone for calls, 61 per cent for text conversations while driving, and 56 per cent admitted using a smartphone app when behind the wheel.
Auckland Transport's new campaign comes as recent national police figures show cellphone use is getting worse with 21,538 drivers pinged for using phones last year compared to 13,953 in 2013.
The "Oi" campaign will feature film clips at cinemas, postings on social media and billboards around the Auckland region.
Source: NZ Herald