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Driver distraction: A law enforcement perspective.

Hartley, J, Faulks, I, Regan, M, Stevenson, M, Brown, J, Porter, A, Irwin, J

Driver Risk & Behaviour

ACRS conference 2005

There seems little doubt that driver distraction has the capacity to impact on the efficiency of our road networks and, more importantly, road trauma. With increasing traffic volumes and additional traffic signage, today’s driver encounters many forms of distraction that compete for their attention. Additionally, the driver now also has to contend with new or more affordable technologies in their driving environment, like mobile telephones and visual displays, which can act as a distraction or impose further cognitive demands on those drivers. If we accept that the human brain has a limited capacity to process information, then it follows that continually increasing the amount of information being processed by the brain must, ultimately lead to the stage where it cannot all be processed in time to allow the driver to effectively and safely, carry out the driving task. Given this likelihood, the New South Wales Police actively seeks to encourage good driver behaviours and to detect instances where driver distraction contravenes legislative provisions.