Minister’s comment on texting and driving epidemic

A 26 year old driver found guilty of a horrific collision that fatally injured her friend passenger, has been allowed to keep her licence while she waits for her sentencing.

Ministers believe the magistrates judgement call was disappointing and that all drivers should take more care on our roads.

Texting is arguably one of the most dangerous things one can do while driving.

Police Minister, Michelle Roberts, said given the dangerous circumstances in which she was driving, she should have her licence revoked.

“The magistrate had the capacity to remove her licence on the spot but chose not to do that,”

“I’m disappointed in that decision… He’s already indicated that once the charges are finalised and once the case is completed that she will likely lose her licence,” she said.

Ms Roberts is confident that she shouldn’t be driving, and will be discussing the matter with the police and road safety commission.

“Sadly people think they’re such great drivers they can text, look at things on their mobile phone and drive at the same time… that’s not the case.” she said.

Shadow Police Minister, Peter Katsambanis, said not enough is being done in relation to texting and driving,  but each driver behind the wheel has to take some responsibility as well.

“How often can we say it, texting and driving doesn’t work. Put your phone down, put both hands on the steering wheel and concentrate on the road. That’s the only way we can ensure safety,” he said.

He said the hypothetical of putting a police officer on a motorcycle on every street corner is still not going to stop their reckless behaviour.

Mr Katsambanis believes we need a cultural change…

“We need people to accept that it is highly dangerous to text and drive, and take some own personal responsibility for fixing this epidemic in our society,” he said.

Ms Roberts said the road safety commission and WA police will continue to promote a strong road safety message to the community.

“If people did the right thing, if they didn’t use their mobile phone while driving, particularly at high speed, lives would be saved,” Ms Roberts said.

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