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Telstra has found that almost a third of Australian motorists admit to sending text messages while driving despite knowing the risks involved.

Telstra Consumer’s Executive Director, Jenny Young, said, “Despite Telstra’s research showing almost half of drivers surveyed believe using mobile phones is a large problem that can cause many serious accidents, many continue to engage in risky behaviour behind the wheel. Staggeringly, almost a quarter of Australian motorists are knowingly breaking the law by using their mobiles to make handheld calls, with 25-34 year olds the worst offenders.”

The study has also found that 96.3 per cent of motorists acknowledge that it is illegal to read or send an SMS while driving, seven per cent of motorists do not know when it is illegal for the driver of a vehicle to use a mobile phone, and 30 per cent of motorists admit to speaking for one to two minutes on their handset every time they receive a call.

“Motorists need to remember that using a handheld phone behind the wheel is not only dangerous, but also illegal in every State and Territory. There’s no denying that looking down at a phone while driving impairs a driver’s awareness of what is happening around them on the road and can contribute to accidents. If you need to make or answer a phone call while driving, we recommend that motorists pull over to the side of the road safely or allow the call to divert to MessageBank,” Ms Young said.

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