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TAC boss ‘not convinced’ over idea to seize and smash phones of distracted drivers

The chief executive of the Transport Accident Commission says he’s not convinced an idea out of the UK to confiscate and even destroy the phone of a distracted driver caught on their phone would change driver behaviour.

A survey of 20,000 drivers in the UK found seven out of 10 drivers supported giving police more powers to seize and smash phones to deter drivers.

“I can understand the instinctive appeal,” TAC chief Joe Calafiore said.

“I’m not convinced taking someone’s phone and smashing it – I’m not sure what would stop you going down to shop and just buying another one.”

He also told Neil Mitchell the TAC has reinstated its $4 million in road safety funding that was withdrawn during the police fake breath tests scandal.

Former Chief Commissioner Neil Comrie was called in to investigate after it emerged more than $250,000 breath tests had been faked to meet targets.

He said the investigation, finalised recently, found no link to operations paid for by the TAC.

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He also spoke about Stonnington Council’s idea to lower speed limits in side streets to 20km/hr, admitting it would be hard to sell to the public.