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AAA Supports Telstra ‘Phone Safe – Drive Safe’ Campaign

20.12.2001

The Australian Automobile Association has given its support to a new road safety initiative launched today in Sydney by Telstra, "Phone Safe – Drive Safe".

 

The initiative, which has been launched in time for the Christmas holiday period, encourages safer use of mobile phones while driving.

 

AAA Executive Director, Lauchlan McIntosh, speaking at the launch, said mobile phones should add to the safety of driving by providing a secure communications link if assistance is required.

 

"Unfortunately using a mobile phone while driving can also be a distraction, particularly if used without a hands-free kit, Mr. McIntosh said.

 

"Mobile phones are a great asset to a very large proportion of the 6.4 million motorists who are members of Australia’s motoring clubs, but Telstra research tends to show they can also be a problem. According to that research, 75% of drivers surveyed thought there was either a major or moderate road safety problem with in-car use, resulting in some accidents.

 

"The laws are clear. It is illegal to use the mobile as a hand held device while driving. Unfortunately it is another thing to ensure all motorists recognise the risks as well as the benefits.

 

"The Australian Automobile Association strongly supports the Telstra initiative and welcomes the additional financial support provided by Ericsson to discount in-car kits to encourage their installation. We agree that hands free kits are not a total solution but they do reduce risk and comply with the law.

 

"We believe this is an initiative all mobile phone suppliers could support by at least matching the Ericsson offer and I would strongly encourage them to do so," Mr. McIntosh said.

 

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