NSW Police have expressed frustration at NSW drivers, after nearly 700 of them were caught illegally using handheld mobile phones during a 24-hour state-wide crackdown on driving offences.
Operation Compliance 1 was carried out on February 13 and saw police officers target motorists using mobile phones and those speeding and failing to stop at crossings in school zones.
NSW Police reported that 1,158 motorists were caught offending, with 688 guilty of using a handheld mobile device while driving.
The number of motorists booked for speeding in school zones totalled 391, while 79 motorists failed to stop at children’s crossings.
Operations commander of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Superintendent Stuart Smith said that using a mobile device while driving isn’t just illegal, it’s also “highly irresponsible and very dangerous”.
Mr Smith said that it is frustrating for police that a small proportion of drivers continue to risk their own lives and those of others by illegally using mobile devices at the wheel.
“Yesterday’s operation highlights that far too many motorists are continuing to distract themselves with mobile phones when they should be focusing their entire attention on the road around them,” said Mr Smith in a statement released February 14.
And drivers aren’t the only ones behaving dangerously by using personal electronic devices.
Another operation carried out by NSW Police on February 13 saw the CBD Motorcycle Response Team out in force to target dangerous pedestrian behaviour, as well as infringing motorists.
Operation Franklin focused on two major CBD traffic zones – the intersections of Pitt Street and Park Street, and of Castlereagh Street and Park Street.
That operation, together with a similar one carried out on February 6, saw police catch 95 pedestrians crossing the road illegally, eight motorists using mobile devices while driving, and a further 114 drivers committing other offences.
“All too often, police are seeing pedestrians tuned into electronic devices, oblivious to traffic conditions, stepping out onto the road at dangerous locations and putting their lives at risk,” said Mr Smith.
“Local residents, workers and visitors can expect to see the CBD Motorcycle Response Team out in force throughout the year ahead.”
Pedestrians, drivers and passengers alike who are injured as a result of a car accident may be able to get compensation for expenses and economic loss under the NSW motor accidents compensation scheme.