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Text-and-drive service could save lives - AA

Published: 11:24AM Friday June 15, 2012 Source: ONE News

A text-and-drive initiative that has been endorsed by New Zealand transport authorities has the "potential to save lives", the AA believes.

Vodafone's DriveSafe is a free TXT service that automatically replies to text messages you receive while driving. It is activated by texting Drive On to 760, then deactivated by texting Drive Off to the same number.

AA's general manager of motoring affairs Mike Noon told TV ONE's Breakfast this morning the issue of texting while driving is a global problem, and he thought the initiative had the potential to save lives.

"The more we can get people using a service like this, the safer it will be for our young drivers," Noon said.

Noon said young drivers are pressured into texting while driving because they get "bombarded" with texts from friends if they do not reply.

He said the message that it is dangerous to text while driving has not gone through to a lot of people, despite the threat of fines.

"We are getting to that tipping point with cell phones where maybe we have to start upping that enforcement to remove those people that are still doing it.

"If you are texting, you can be charged with careless driving."

Noon said even though the chance of having an accident is rare, texting while driving increases the chances of an accident.