'Make it culturally unforgivable': readers on driver mobile phone penalties

'Make it culturally unforgivable': readers on driver mobile phone penalties

Newly qualified drivers could lose their licence under tougher penalties for those using a phone while driving. Here’s what our readers said

Fines and penalty points for using a phone while driving are set to double after new penalties came into force in England, Scotland and Wales on Wednesday.

Drivers who are caught will be given six points on their licence and a £200 fine. Those who have recently qualified could lose their licence if they accrue six points within two years of passing their test.

The problem is that using a hands free system when driving is equally as dangerous as actually holding your phone whilst driving to make a call. Of tge government were serious about cutting the 22 deaths a year attributable to making calls whilst driving they’d ban the practice completely.

Absolutely. When I had a has free mobile phone fitted in my company car many years ago I once found myself going round a roundabout three times during a phone conversation. I had the phone taken out.

We need to make it culturally unforgivable. Drunk drivers have gone through this, it is not seen as a badge of honour to drink and drive now, you just seem like scum who is happy to risk other lives.

People who use the phone whilst driving should be made to feel like shit. It needs to be embarrassing and they should be made to feel ashamed of what they have done when they are caught. Obviously also fine them hell out of them, ban them from driving and take their phone.

You’re right it’s a balance of risk and consequences – and because the risk of being caught is low the consequences need to be high in order to deter. Low risk and low consequences means no-one takes any notice. But add in very high consequences and, as with drink driving, many will think twice.
I once interviewed a single mother who lost her only daughter, the first ever in her wider family to graduate from university, to a business driver on a mobile phone. I’ve never forgotten it, her bravery nor the pricks of tears in my eyes. Some readers here will know what that loss feels like. I’ve used a TRRL driving simulator too, and seen for myself how it affects reaction times. If you – reading this – phone and drive, is it worth it?

Step in the right direction but ultimately pointless without and effective enforcement regime. I don’t think this will really tackle the route cause, which is a lack of driver awareness and a sense of entitlement when behind the wheel. It’s too easy to try and link this to a general drop in driving standards, but has anyone else noticed a growing trend of drivers who can’t be bothered to use their indicators?!

2) very different. In face to face conversations, you are having a two way conversation that your whole brain and body is evolved to manage smoothly. Non verbal cues abound, so it’s not distracting. On the phone (one crappy little audio channel), you have to devote a lot more brainpower to run the conversation, so the brain does mad things like ignoring inputs from the eyes.

Until recently, I could have counted 10 young farmers a day, driving 20 tonne rigs while chatting away on their phones. This ceased in the run-up to this Act becoming law.

Let’s hope it stays that way, because it was really scary being confronted by a huge tractor veering toward my car, while the drivers concentration is elsewhere.

I live fairly central in London and recently sold my car so take the bus and cycle a lot now. If I look down from the seat on a bus to slow moving traffic it seems at least half of motorists have a smartphone in their hand and or on their lap.

The problem is people find it so difficult to go through a prolonged period of more than say 5 minutes without checking their phone, lack of enforcement and the fact it’s relatively socially acceptable to do so means they continue to check their phones whilst driving as it’s easy.

I live less that 5 minutes walk from a main arterial road, If I choose to walk into town past the police station I will have seen 5 or 6 on the mobile whilst at the wheel, if I can see them so can the police but, Where are they?”

A few days ago I was on the M5 in Worcestershire approaching my junction, mid afternoon there was a bigger than “Transit” van weaving all over his lane when passing an artic, yep you have got it on the phone.

The “bigger picture”, if I may be so bold, is our connection to our phones.

How many people just let their phone ring if it’s not convenient to answer it? People say to me “Why didn’t you answer”? and I reply “I was having dinner” and they look at me like I’ve gone mad.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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