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Motorists warned about bold act

AI cameras have caught nearly 3000 Victorians driving without a seatbelt or while on their mobile phone in the first monthsince the system’s implementation. Picture: VicPol
AI cameras have caught nearly 3000 Victorians driving without a seatbelt or while on their mobile phone in the first monthsince the system’s implementation. Picture: VicPol

Motorists are being warned about using their phones while driving as police target distracted drivers.

The warning comes after more than 80 drivers were spotted using their mobile phones while driving during a recent road policing operation across Melbourne in just two days.

The fine for being caught using a mobile device is a whopping $577 with the loss of four demerit points.

A police operation targeted distracted drivers. Picture: Supplied
A police operation targeted distracted drivers. Picture: Supplied

Other offending detected during the sting included 10 people caught disobeying traffic signs/signals, eight for cycling offences, four for seat belt offences, three for speeding offences, three for motorcycling offences and one for unlicenced driving.

Police also conducted 76 preliminary breath tests and 11 roadside drug tests during the operation with one man caught drug driving.

A frustrated, Road Policing assistant commissioner Glenn Weir said drivers caught using mobile phones know what they are doing is wrong, but continue to do it anyway.

“We’re seeing distraction contributing to far too many fatal and serious injury collisions this year, and yet in two days we’ve caught 86 people using their phones and devices while driving,” he said.

“The most frustrating part is, when our members are speaking with offenders, they’re all well aware that what they’re doing is wrong.

“Driving should not be secondary to using a mobile phone or device – it requires your complete attention.”

Police warned motorists they’ll be conducting further covert operations to detect distraction-related offending.

A number of people were also detected not wearing seatbelts. Picture: Supplied
A number of people were also detected not wearing seatbelts. Picture: Supplied

The operation comes as the nation’s road toll continues to increase with fatalities higher than at the same time as last year, which was an increase on the year before.

Mr Weir said drivers need to be smarter and safer on our roads.

“We need people to make better choices when behind the wheel,” he said.

“You don’t want your distracted driving to be what causes another serious injury or fatal collision. We’ve seen far too much of that this year already.

“We’ll continue to conduct operations like Spotto to ensure those that disregard the rules and use their device while driving are penalised – we make no apologies for this.”

Supplied Editorial
Police say that more operations of a similar nature are planned for the future. Picture: Supplied

New road rules were introduced this year meaning other devices outside of mobile phones could lead to fines for distracted driving.

This includes “the use of portable, mountable, wearable, and in-built devices while driving a vehicle or riding a motorcycle, which now includes looking at, touching or having a device resting on your body”.