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  1. Published on: 14/08/2019 06:31 AMReported by: roving-eye
    The Government should consider tougher restrictions on driving while using a mobile phone and stricter enforcement of the law to prevent the ‘entirely avoidable’ tragedy of deaths and serious injuries from related crashes on the roads, MPs say.

    Receiving and sending data equally dangerous

    In Road Safety: driving while using a mobile phone, the Transport Committee says the evidence is clear: using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous, with potentially catastrophic consequences.

    MPs call on Government to overhaul current laws on using hand-held mobile devices while driving, to cover use irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data. As evidence shows that using a hands-free device creates the same risks of crashing, the Committee also recommends that Government explores options for extending the ban on hand-held devices to hands-free phones.

    In 2017, there were 773 casualties, including 43 deaths and 135 serious injuries, in collisions where a driver using a mobile phone was a contributory factor. The number of people killed or seriously injured has risen steadily since 2011.


    Tougher enforcement needed

    However, the rate of enforcement has plunged by more than two thirds since 2011. Enforcing the law is essential to ensuring that motorists do not illegally use their mobile phone while driving. While the Committee welcomes the Government’s review of roads policing and traffic enforcement, the report calls on the Government to work with police to boost enforcement and make better use of technology.

    The penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving were increased in 2017 but still do not appear to be commensurate with the risk created and should be reviewed and potentially increased so that it is clear there are serious consequences to being caught, says the Report.

    Chair's comments

    Chair of the Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said:
    “Despite the real risk of catastrophic consequences for themselves, their passengers and other road users, far too many drivers continue to break the law by using hand-held mobile phones.

    “If mobile phone use while driving is to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving much more effort needs to go into educating drivers about the risks and consequences of using a phone behind the wheel. Offenders also need to know there is a credible risk of being caught, and that there are serious consequences for being caught.

    “There is also a misleading impression that hands-free use is safe. The reality is that any use of a phone distracts from a driver’s ability to pay full attention and the Government should consider extending the ban to reflect this.

    “Each death and serious injury which results from a driver using a mobile phone is a tragedy that is entirely avoidable. We need tougher restrictions, better enforcement and more education to make our roads safer for all.”
     

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  2. Your Comments:


  3. donkey22 says:14/08/2019 11:32 AM
    If a 6 penalty point endorsement on their license isn’t enough to deter these brainless idiots from using their phones, it’s time to introduce a mandatory 12 month ban/prison sentence. Every day I see at least one moron jeopardising the lives of other motorists and pedestrians through the selfish use of their phone.

  4. Likes Ceam liked this post
  5. toothache says:14/08/2019 11:44 AM
    I no longer drive so am not aware of the penalties for using a mobile phone whilst driving but it seems to me that the police should be able to confiscate the phone there and then if a driver is caught using it whilst driving - maybe confiscate it for 6 months.

    That would be catastrophic for the driver, inconvenient and expensive but if it saved someone’s life, surely worth it.

    On the motorway it should however. be acceptable to pull onto the hard shoulder to answer what may well be an emergency phone call.

    If there is a passenger in the car, surely they could take the call and explain why the driver cannot answer until such time that they can pull up somewhere if the call is important?

    Otherwise the driver should just ignore the call until there is somewhere to park. When driving nothing is more important than keeping your mind on the job!
    Even if the call really is an emergency you are no use if you crash the car because you are answering it.

  6. Dislikes bethanysdad disliked this post
  7. abbeyroad says:14/08/2019 12:28 PM
    Have you ever witnessed the blind panic when somebody can't find their mobile?

    A far more effective deterrent than fines or bans would be the confiscation of the offender's mobile and shutting the number down for 12 months It would cost a lot less to administer as well.

  8. Likes gazaprop liked this post
  9. gazaprop says:14/08/2019 01:35 PM
    I've banned people from 'surfing' these hateful devices whilst visiting myself and the current Mrs Gazaprop.

  10. Ceam says:14/08/2019 08:32 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by toothache View Post



    On the motorway it should however. be acceptable to pull onto the hard shoulder to answer what may well be an emergency phone call.

    Are you having a laugh? Let's litter the hard shoulder with idiots on their phones. If people need to use their phones there are things called services. That's where you pull in and use your phone.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The talk of banning hands free is pointless, how on earth are you going to catch someone talking hands free?

  11. Likes donkey22, bethanysdad liked this post
  12. Little Londoner says:15/08/2019 08:23 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by toothache View Post
    I no longer drive so am not aware of the penalties for using a mobile phone whilst driving but it seems to me that the police should be able to confiscate the phone there and then if a driver is caught using it whilst driving - maybe confiscate it for 6 months.

    That would be catastrophic for the driver, inconvenient and expensive but if it saved someone’s life, surely worth it.

    On the motorway it should however. be acceptable to pull onto the hard shoulder to answer what may well be an emergency phone call.

    If there is a passenger in the car, surely they could take the call and explain why the driver cannot answer until such time that they can pull up somewhere if the call is important?

    Otherwise the driver should just ignore the call until there is somewhere to park. When driving nothing is more important than keeping your mind on the job!
    Even if the call really is an emergency you are no use if you crash the car because you are answering it.
    I think you will find MOST drivers already follow your advice, as for stopping on the hard shoulder of a motorway (have you been on a smart motorway?) the most dangerous place on a Motorway is the Hard Shoulder. Surely there must be a way of blocking a mobile signal inside a car and if you want to use your mobile you will have to park up and get out to use it.
    Coming down the Coastal Rd the other day a woman in a black Porsche coming the opposite direction came over into my side of the carriageway she corrected it and by the time she got to me, a few seconds, she was looking down at her phone again.

  13. toothache says:15/08/2019 03:25 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Londoner View Post
    I think you will find MOST drivers already follow your advice, as for stopping on the hard shoulder of a motorway (have you been on a smart motorway?) the most dangerous place on a Motorway is the Hard Shoulder.
    Well, I have to admit it is 40+ years since I was a driver so have not been on a motorway for quite a while. I bow to your far superior knowledge!

    I guess the best thing to do is to come off at the next exit and park or carry on to the next service station before checking your phone.
    The only problem with blocking the signal is that passengers could not phone or text either. When I have been going by ambulance to Aintree or Broadgreen hospitals it has sometimes been essential that I (as a passenger) e mail or text someone on the way home.
    I would have been unhappy and inconvenienced by no signal although that would be preferable to being dead if someone caused an accident by phoning at the wheel!

  14. RoJimbo says:24/08/2019 01:42 AM
    I don't get it. There are so many accidents happened because of texting or phoning while driving. It's proven to be extremely dangerous. But drivers still endanger themselves and others around them. When I have to phone I stop, go to https://areaphonecodes.com/united-states/206 to find an area code, and only then I make a call. After a full stop.


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