NEARLY two drivers every minute were caught red-handed using their mobile phones behind the wheel during a survey of a dangerous stretch of a Perth freeway using high-tech specialised cameras.
In a special investigation by The Sunday Times and Seven News, Sydney-based firm One Task was commissioned to conduct a nine-and-a-half-hour weekday snapshot of the Mitchell Freeway at Leederville late last month.
The staggering results reveal 1058 distracted drivers were captured either holding their phone or having it in their lap while hurtling along at 100km/h — eyes off the road and at times with both hands off the wheel.
In total, 33,428 vehicles were monitored — 3.165 per cent of them were spotted with drivers attached to their phones. This means one driver every 33 seconds was recorded breaking the law by three cameras covering the three lanes of a known danger zone and merging hotspot, which was the site of a horror fatality allegedly caused by mobile phone use.
Nearly 45 per cent of phone sightings were “active” use, involving the driver either holding the phone or touching it in the cradle.
Younger drivers lived up to their generation’s phone-obsessed reputation, with the offending rate being significantly higher with P-plate motorists. Out of 513 drivers monitored, 32 were on the phone, or 6.2 per cent — double the overall proportion.