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Will texting bays solve the problem of drivers using their phones on the road

We all know there’s a real issue with people texting and using their mobile while they’re driving but do we really needs special texting bays on our roads to help curb the problem?

That’s exactly what they’re doing in Western Australia in a special trial that will run till the end of April – designated texting bays.

The West Australian Road Safety Commission came up with the plan as part of an experiment to reduce the number of accidents caused by drivers who are distracted by their phones.

The scheme would provide special bays by the side of the road where drivers could pull in away from traffic and park safely to check their messages and emails.

Some of the off-road locations would be located beside existing driver reviver rest stops.

I’m all for safety, reducing the road toll and enforcing the laws that tell drivers to keep their hands off their phones.

We’ve had countless ads and campaigns showing the horrific outcome of someone taking their eyes off the road for a few seconds to check or send a text message.

The special bays for texting sound like a good idea on paper but they won’t solve the problem. It’s also likely to cause more traffic congestion especially if these bays are full, used for parking or created at the cost of an additional lane.

There are some people who can’t resist checking their phones while they’re driving and they will do it anywhere and anytime.

I can’t see these drivers waiting and looking for a texting bay so they can check their messages. If they did that, they’ll never get where they want to go.

The other issue is that drivers usually try to check and send messages and emails when they’re in a hurry.

The last thing these drivers will do is pull off the road into a texting bay to send their messages. It will make them even later.

Unfortunately, they’d rather chance the law and the risk of getting caught to satisfy their messaging needs.

What most of them don’t realise is they are also risking their own safety by doing this – as well as the safety of others.

So while texting bays would be handy and the thought behind them is safe and proper, it will be another rule that drivers will ignore.

Drivers will learn the hard way – either with a massive fine. Or paying with their lives or, worse still, the lives of other drivers or pedestrians on the road.

Texting bays sound like a good idea but in reality, the only solution to keep drivers safe on the road is to simply leave their phones alone until they arrive safely at their destination.

About Stephen Fenech

Stephen is the Tech Guide editor and one of Australia's most respected tech journalists. He is a regular on radio and TV talking about the latest tech news, products and trends.

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  • Peter Bond

    Won’t work. Ok for making calls but how far apart for receiving calls. The road has a shoulder, make it wide enough to stop on.
    All drivers under 25 to have a black box to record driving style. Must be down loaded every week or licence is suspended at midnite.
    This would apply to speeding too. Interfering with it would be loss of licence for 1year .