Driving with kids in the car is a definite lesson in patience. Especially if you're driving with more than one. Kids somehow get even worse when they're in the backseat of a car. Who needs a snack, who has a million questions, who suddenly needs to pee. And don't forget about the fighting. So. Much. Fighting. Parents are just used to driving distracted. But for parents in Australia, that distracted driving can soon carry consequences.
According to The Daily Mail Australia, the National Transport Commission is working on new laws about driving distracted. Under one of the proposed changes to the current driving laws, you can be penalized for taking your eyes off the road for two seconds. That could be super challenging for parents, when it sometimes takes longer to figure out which kid to scold.
"Drivers engage in non-driving activities every 96 seconds while behind the wheel," says NTC Chief Executive Officer Gillian Miles in a statement. "Distractions take our concentration off the road which means we may not have time to react to hazards."
While that logic is absolutely sound, sometimes it's impossible not to check on your kids in the backseat. And this goes double for parents of babies and kids who are still rear facing. Besides, any parent knows that their kids don't care if their fighting will get you a ticket. If their sibling in breathing in their general direction, it is certainly the end of the world. Sure, there are things you can do in ahead of driving like opening snacks or making things easy for kids to reach themselves.
However, it seems that the biggest reason for the review of the laws is driving with phones. Many of these driving rules are from 1999, a time before smartphones. Back then people weren't using their phones for things like GPS or navigation.
"Existing legislation is not effective for emerging technology like smartphones," Charles Mountain, spokesperson for the Royal Automobile Association of South Australia tells Australian news outlet The Adviser.
While they won't loosen the safety concerns, they are looking to relax the rules about overall use. Mountain claims: 'This will lead to a much better understanding of what all the distractions are in a vehicle other than a mobile phone."