Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward following a crash where an elderly woman was killed in south Auckland.
Diane Rachael Stephens, 72, was killed in the two-car collision on Karaka Rd near the Oira Rd intersection in rural Karaka on Monday, October 5.
The Serious Crash Unit is requesting anyone who was travelling along Karaka Rd who witnessed the crash to get in touch by phoning Constable Jeremy Popping on 09 213 9147.
Drivers have been captured on camera boldly using their phones while driving, to video call, text and make calls.
The footage, taken in Auckland, comes as the Government increased the cost of a fine for using a cellphone while driving from $80 to $150.
Over the course of a week, ahead of the fine increase, a Stuff visual journalist captured numerous people using their phones while driving, including a woman who appeared to be on a video call while passing through an intersection, a man speaking on the phone and numerous people texting or looking at their phone.
Last year, police issued more than 40,000 infringement notices for the offence.
A driver for Dingo Groundworx NZ was captured using their phone while driving a truck along Williamson Ave, in Ponsonby.
Owner Cameron Hadley told Stuff all employees were very aware they should not be using their phones while driving.
He said he would be raising the issue in a staff meeting.
AA road safety spokesman Dylan Thomsen told Stuff he wasn’t surprised to hear about the woman video calling while driving.
While AA supports the Government’s fine increase, Thomsen said it wasn’t going to solve the problem.
“People just can’t resist the temptation if they hear their phone go off ... it’s not something you do by accident.”
“A lot of people use their phone behind the wheel and don’t do other risky things.”
He hopes as there are further advancements in technology, phone companies can have default “do not disturb” modes that activate as soon as drivers start moving in their car.
“Until we change the mindset it will be hard with enforcement alone, people don’t appreciate the risks until it’s too late,” Thomsen said.
To see video footage, go here:
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