7 out of 10 drivers support tougher penalties for illegal mobile phone use

  • 87% say using mobiles similar to drink-driving
  • 42% support outright ban on mobiles being used in cars
May 6, 2015: Seven out of 10 drivers in Australia support big increases in fines and penalties for drivers caught illegally texting or talking on mobile phones in vehicles, according to the 2015 Volvo Car Australia Safety Index released today.

And more than 42% support an outright ban on drivers using mobiles phones in cars to improve safety on our roads. Volvo's national study of drivers' attitudes to safety found 87% of drivers agree that texting or making calls reduces reaction times and is similar to driving under the influence of alcohol.

Each year more than 120,000 drivers around Australia are fined for illegally texting or talking on the phone while driving. All Australian states and territories have laws which require mobile phones to be operated hands-free or placed in a commercial cradle.

Volvo's national study found illegal use of mobiles is most prevalent in drivers less than 35 years of age, with around one in two admitting to regularly texting, making calls or web surfing without hands free.

When asked why they did this even though it is illegal:

  • 32% said they did it out of habit
  • 26% said they can "multi-task" whilst driving
  • 22% want to remain connected to family, friends or work
  • 7% say they are addicted to texting

Volvo Car Australia Managing Director, Kevin McCann, said the strong public support among drivers nationally for heavier fines and an outright ban on mobile phones highlighted growing concerns about safety on our roads.

"With 1 in 3 drivers admitting to making a call or texting while behind the wheel there is still much work to be done to reduce distractions for road users. Volvo is at the forefront of the next generation of voice recognition and hands free technologies to address these issues.

"The results from Volvo's Driver Safety Index shows many drivers believe that "driving is for driving" - not for chatting, organising social events, texting, reading, or any of the diverse in-vehicle activities that can divert attention and affect safe driving."

\*National online survey of licensed drivers in all states & territories conducted between April, 13-27, 2015.

For further information please contact:

Oliver Peagam
Public Affairs Manager
Volvo Car Australia
T: 02 9020 1613
M: 0408 691 017
E: opeagam@volvocars.com