AMTA calls foul on distracted driving report

The wireless association says a recent newspaper article about mobile-related deaths has its numbers wrong.

The number of Queensland deaths by distracted driving cited by a recent article in the Courier-Mail appears exaggerated, according to the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA).

The Queensland newspaper reported figures showing that a third of automobile deaths in the state were caused by use of mobile phones while driving. However, AMTA pointed to statistics from the state’s Department of Main Roads Safety Statistics showing that distracted driving caused only two deaths last financial year, amounting to 0.7 per cent of road fatalities.

“AMTA accepts its responsibility to promote safe driving practices and we look forward to opportunities to work with police and road safety agencies on issues of driver distraction awareness,” said AMTA CEO Chris Althaus.

“However, we believe it’s important to foster community debate about road safety and promote policies to tackle the road toll that are built on solid foundations of fact and underpinned by careful statistical analysis to generate an evidence-based policy approach,” he said.

“AMTA is concerned to understand more fully the figures quoted publicly in recent news reports, which appear to be totally at odds with official figures from other Australian and international jurisdictions.”

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When we see unfounded statements that 'more than a third of deaths were caused by [mobiles]', it's a fair bet that some bureaucrats may be trying to cook up more powers for themselves - and a big increase in their funding, of course.

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