Police urge drivers to stay off mobiles

A SPEEDING driver talking on his mobile phone crashed into a parked car after police indicated for him to pull over.

The talking speedster was in a 40 km/h shopping precinct at Lindisfarne when police intercepted him on Thursday.

Inspector Darren Hopkins, of Northern Road and Public Order Services, said the crash highlighted the importance of adhering to the speed limit, avoiding distractions such as mobile phones while driving, and how the combination of these risks can cause crashes.

Police reported the incident as part of Operation Crossroads, an Australia and New Zealand-wide police blitz on road safety, which started on Monday and continues until Friday.

The latest police data, for October, shows that the number of drivers fined for talking on mobile phones has increased statewide.

Year-to-date figures show a spike of 15 per cent, from 832 fines to 953.

The police's Western District reported the biggest increase, 24 per cent, from 171 to 212 fines for mobile phone use.

Inspector Hopkins said police were pleased that there had been very few serious crashes so far this holiday season.

He said the number of speeding offences detected had fallen below the amount reported at this time last year.

As of yesterday, there had been 68 crashes reported across the state during Operation Crossroads, including six incidents serious enough to require hospitalisation.

The causes of the serious crashes included: failure to give way or disobey red traffic light, unroadworthy vehicle, unlicensed driver, and driver inattention and inexperience.

Across Australia and New Zealand, the holiday season road toll is 10.

New South Wales has recorded three deaths; followed by Victoria, two, and New Zealand, two.

Tasmanian Operation Crossroads results so far

In comparison to this time last year:

Random breath-tests conducted: 8366; up eight per cent.

Drink-driving offences detected: 28; up four per cent.

Drug tests conducted: 19; down 44 per cent.

Positive drug tests: nine; down 10 per cent.

Licence offences detected: 64; up eight per cent.

Traffic fines issued, 460: up five per cent.

Speeding offences detected: 303; down four per cent.

Vehicles clamped or confiscated: three; down 40 per cent.

Email ctang@examiner.com.au

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