Common-sense tips to help truck drivers stay in touch and return home safely have been released

Australia's professional truck drivers will receive advice on the safe use of mobile phones through a new fact sheet developed by the Australian Trucking Association (ATA) in partnership with the National Transport Commission (NTC) and the mobile telecommunications industry.

Making the call on road safety outlines ten tips for safer mobile phone use by truck drivers. The information will be distributed widely throughout the industry

"A mobile phone has become essential for truck drivers to stay in touch with family and operations staff while away, but their first priority must be road safety," said ATA Chief Executive Stuart St Clair. "We want all drivers to return home safely."

Using a hand-held mobile phone while driving is illegal – unless a hands-free in-vehicle-kit, or portable hands-free device is fitted*. NTC Senior Manager Safety Dr Jeff Potter warned a hands-free kit doesn’t make mobile phone use safe.

"Mobile phone use while driving is a distraction. My advice is to plan ahead and make your calls when the truck is safely parked. If the mobile phone rings while you are driving, let it divert to voicemail and return the call when it is safe to do so," he said.

Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus said the mobile telecommunications industry was pleased to assist in this important safety initiative.

"Although mobile phone technology, such as voice-activated dialling, can reduce the physical and visual effort required to make and receive a call, road safety awareness and education are essential to remind drivers not to be distracted,” he said. “Safety is the most important call drivers can make."