MOTORISTS using mobile phones need to think about the possible consequences of their actions, according to Warrnambool Road Trauma Support Services Victoria regional coordinator Rhys Tate.
He said statistics showed that using a mobile phone while driving was as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
His comments come after Roads Minister Jaala Pulford told a road safety summit in Melbourne last week that automatic loss of licence for drivers caught using a mobile phone could be the deterrent required.
"We're not ruling anything out," Ms Pulford said.
"While the penalties are quite severe now, the analogy with drink driving is a valuable one. Just put your phone in the glove box, it's not that hard."
Mr Tate said he would support measures put in place by VicRoads and the TAC.
He said motorists should think of them as interventions in road safety, rather than punishments.
"What I will say is that people need to consider the impact that road trauma has and the impact that deaths and injuries have is very serious," Mr Tate said.
He said motorists should consider using driving mode on their phone while behind the wheel.
Mr Tate said he believed it was important to educate people on this feature.
"I think if we had those driving modes in phones from day dot, it would become second nature to use it like we put seatbelts on," he said.
Corangamite Shire councillor Simon Illingworth, a former policeman, said he believed the solution was for police to issue more fines.
"Increase the risk of detection and people will stop," Cr Illingworth said.
"If you got a $20 fine every second time you got on your phone, you would stop."
However, Cr Illingworth said he did not believe automatic loss of licence should be introduced.
"Road offences are not as serious as crimes such as theft, fraud, burglary and assault."
He said introducing the harsh penalty could result in people losing their job for a minor offence because they need a licence.
"People will either lose their job and or drive while disqualified," Cr Illingworth said.
"You start turning people who are committing relatively minor road offences into criminals."
Cr Illingworth said people needed to stop and think about their actions.
"Pull over if you want to text, it's not that hard," he said.
Transport Accident Commission chief executive officer Joe Cala said he couldn't understand why people conceded that you shouldn't drink and drive and you shouldn't speed, they continued to fail to get the message about phone use.
"We also know that in seven out of eight trauma wards at the Alfred Hospital where people were seriously injured in crashes, they've admitted they were on their phones," Mr Cala said.
"People admit to us they are texting at 70, 80, 90, 100km/h with cruise control on. It's crazy, unacceptable, it's not a joke."
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