By Ilija KljajevicA new study by WA’s Road Safety Commission shows an increase in deaths and injuries due to driving and texting. So far in 2016, the study shows a total of 69 serious injuries in WA related to mobile use while driving. Mr Peter Palamara, who is an academic at the Curtin Monash Accident Research Centre in Perth, said more awareness through media campaigns needs to happen to inform drivers about not getting distracted. “Driving and texting is a serious issue, and drivers think they can get away with it,” he said. Mr Palamara said penalties have recently increased with drivers charged with $500 and three demerit points over texting while driving. “Police are doing a lot about this issue but more of them need to be on the road because drivers think they can look at their phone for a second without being watched,” he said. Student Lincoln Cook from Murdoch University said he used to text while driving, but has stopped after hearing text-related accidents happening on the roads. “Many accidents are occurring because of this and I decided I should stop before I hurt someone badly,” he said. Mr Cook said he recommends drivers use alternative choices when someone is calling them while on the road. “There are many other choices such as using a voice-activation device, placing your phone on a holder or simply just pull over to answer the call,” he said. Mr Cook said he wants to see more online campaigns rather than on television and billboards. “Since many drivers are using their phones, I believe more advertisements should be on their phones as a reminder about using mobiles before getting behind the seat,” he said.