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Driver distraction and inattention can be fatal

STUDENTS from Rosny College have been shown how texting while driving can result in a serious crash.

The Hobart, Clarence, Kingborough, Derwent Valley and Glenorchy Councils, with the support of the RACT, secured $25,000 under the State Government’s Community Road Safety Grants Program to bring a driving simulator to Tasmania to educate students about the dangers of distraction and inattention while driving.

RACT Motoring Services manager Peter Gillon said distraction and inattention when driving a motor vehicle could be a fatal combination.

“It is impossible to drive safely when your attention is focused elsewhere,” he said.

“For example, current research reveals that the risk of being involved in a crash increases by four times when talking on a mobile phone while driving, and an incredible 23 times when texting on a mobile device.

“You are taking an unnecessary risk if you take your eyes off the road or your hands off the steering wheel even for a second.

“Getting young drivers into a driving simulator, which is owned and operated by Queensland-based Driver Safety Australia, will provide a very real demonstration of just how dangerous driving while distracted can be.

“It is only through these types of exercises that young people truly understand the dangers.”

Clarence Mayor Doug Chipman said the session was a fantastic opportunity for young drivers in Clarence to experience.

“Through the simulator, and the other activities presented by the RACT, these young drivers can see for themselves just how dangerous distractions can be to their driving,” he said.

“I congratulate both the RACT and the Tasmanian Government on the program.”

Mr Gillon said the five councils and the government were to be congratulated for the initiative.

“The councils should be acknowledged for identifying an issue in their communities that they could help address,” he said.

“And the government should be recognised for the grants program itself, which is addressing local road safety issues and promoting road safety more broadly.”

Under the program, local councils, community organisations and schools can apply for funding to undertake community road safety projects.

The simulator and the RACT visited Rosny College, the Kingborough Sports Centre, Derwent Valley High School, Claremont College and Guilford Young College as part of the weeklong program.