NSW - Fatigue & Mobile Phone Use

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NSW - Fatigue & Mobile Phone Use

Postby Sydguy » Fri Dec 07, 2012 8:06 am

Sydney Mornign Herald, Online, 7 December 2012.

http://www.smh.com.au/nsw/fatigue-and-mobile-phones-blamed-for-most-of-road-toll-20121206-2ay5n.html

Fatigue & Mobile phone usage, NSW.

Interesting quote from the article:

Mr Hartley said he was concerned to see that elderly pedestrians were particularly vulnerable, and that motorcyclists were victims of ''random'' crashes beyond their control.

''A lot are not the rider's actual fault … a car stopped or turned in front of the motorcyclist.

''That's the worst nightmare for a motorcyclist, when you're riding along and someone stops in front of you. You've got not much chance to move.''

Interesting that they eliminate suicides and and some other road deaths from the official toll. None of this is really news to cyclists. A driver switches off for a few seconds and you happen to be in their path...
They really need to get onto cycling stats too - should be included in articles like this!

JM
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by BNA » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:17 pm

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Re: NSW - Fatigue & Mobile Phone Use

Postby g-boaf » Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:17 pm

Yes, some motorists just seem to totally ignore that we exist - or are just so focused on other things they just don't notice what is happening.

If mobile phones are banned while driving, then that should also extend to those taxi job allocation/satnav devices that every cab driver has beside their steering wheel. I've seen accidents (between a taxi and another car) caused by the taxi driver focusing on that rather than where they are going.

I had my dumb driver experience yesterday, but I took off up a driveway to avoid the driver.
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Re: NSW - Fatigue & Mobile Phone Use

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Dec 07, 2012 6:40 pm

So fatigue and electronica abuse are now the high end killers on the roads?

I'm guessing some tech company out there has just developed a covert camera system that can detect and log these events...[/cynic]
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: NSW - Fatigue & Mobile Phone Use

Postby il padrone » Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:11 pm

Mulger bill wrote:So fatigue and electronica abuse are now the high end killers on the roads?

I'm guessing some tech company out there has just developed a covert camera system that can detect and log these events...[/cynic]

Already done. They seem to have been around for some time

Useful in the mining industry

www.optalert.com

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Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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Re: NSW - Fatigue & Mobile Phone Use

Postby wombatK » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:15 pm

The article's headline claim that Mobile Phone or Fatigue are to blame for most crashes is totally unsupported by
credible evidence in the article or indeed elsewhere.

It is simply opinion of the Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner John Hartley that
Probably 90 or 95 per cent of all crashes I read about shouldn't have occurred. You can put the factors down to the mobile phone and probably fatigue is a bit more than we realise.

As much as articles like this seek to demonise mobile phone use, the simple fact is that mobile phone use in cars has risen from being virtually non-existent in the early 90's to being all-pervasive today and one of the most ignored road rules. Yet there has not been any correlating explosive increase in road toll or crashes. In fact, the road toll has steadily fallen.

Police crash investigators have the power to seek mobile phone records of drivers involved in crashes, and prosecute them accordingly. So why isn't he quoting this data ? Maybe, its because the published statistics destroy his claim.

This is what you'll see if you google a little bit deeper than the Commissioner and reporter have done. You'll see how flimsy the claim is.

For example, the NSW RMS official statistics for 2010 NSW RMS official statistics for 2010 attribute less than 1% of all crashes to hand-held phone use (56 in 7000, see Table 12). There's a huge gulf between a factor that is under 1% and "most".

Similarly, the proportion of crashes where fatigue is a factor is 8.3% for all-crashes, and 15% of fatal crashes (Table 15c and 20). Still a damned long way from that to "most" or 95 to 90% of accidents as claimed.

Unless Assistant Commissioner Hartley reads a very small and biased sample of reports about crashes, his claim that 95% of the accidents he reads about are due to these factors is simply untrue.

As a professional with a huge responsibility in this field, he owes it to the community to broaden his reading so that he give a more truthful and supportable account of the causes of crashes. Then he might be able to get his sub-ordinate highway patrol officers to focus on attacking the factors most responsible for crashes (alcohol, speeding, etc.,.) and bringing the road toll down further.
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