Survey catches one in 30 Auckland motorists using mobile phones

Long Lunch 12/06/2018
Photo: iStock.

A new survey has revealed that 3.5 percent of Auckland drivers in the sample used their mobile phones while driving - far more than police catch in the entire country.

The data, collected by Australian company One Task, found a massive number of drivers breaking the law.

One Task filmed in the Southern Motorway underneath the East Tamaki Road crossing for 7.25 hours. During this period, 671 motorists were seen touching their mobile phone. On average a motorist was seen touching their phone every 39 seconds.

If it feels dangerous, then probably cut it out.

Alex McCredie from One Task told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen that the statistics are “quite alarming”.

Mr McCredie explained that One Task wanted to highlight that distracted driving wasn’t just happening at traffic lights.

“This is going on at high speed when people really should be paying attention.”

According to the NZ Transport Agency, driver distraction was a contributing factor in 40 fatal crashes, and 240 serious injury crashes in 2017.

“It’s just time to do something about this, really,” he told RadioLIVE.

Mr McCredie pointed out that a simple text puts vulnerable road users at risk, including pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

“If it feels dangerous, then probably cut it out.”

Mr McCredie proposes that we need to find out more about the problem, and then communicate with distracted drivers to change their behaviour.

“We really need to look at new ways to combat this. Because what’s currently being done obviously results in fatalities on the road and no one worries about being caught,” he said.

It is illegal to send or receive text messages or calls on hand-held mobile phones while driving in New Zealand.

Listen to the full interview with Alex McCredie above. 

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.