Drivers flout rules on mobiles

Phoebe Wearne
Distracted: A driver on the phone. Picture: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

It is a sight familiar to every motorist - the bowed head behind the wheel that pops up sporadically to check if the traffic lights have changed.

During just one hour at a busy intersection in Glendalough, where police on motorcycles have been known to target drivers using mobile phones, _The West Australian _spotted four drivers talking on a mobile phone, one texting with their phone in full view and a further 16 looking down into their laps for some time while they were stopped.

At the corner of Harborne Street and Jon Sanders Drive about 1.20pm, a motorist honked at young woman in a black Suzuki Swift who missed the light change because she was distracted.

There was a close call soon after when a driver who had been looking into his lap hit the accelerator because he saw the turning car next to him move, despite the traffic remaining red.

After Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan yesterday warned that police would target drivers using mobile phones over the Easter break, Acting Supt Ian Clarke said people who used their phones while driving were not fooling anyone and were showing a blatant disregard for the safety of other road users.

Acting Supt Clarke said police on motorcycles would continue to target texting drivers but police could only do so much.

He called on members of the community to make it clear to people who were using their phone while driving that it was not acceptable. "If you see somebody who is clearly using a mobile phone, toot them with your horn or something and bring it to their attention," he said.

"The last thing we want is to be knocking on someone's door this Easter."