Driving while being distracted is undoubtedly one of the easiest ways to cause a road traffic accident. These ‘distractions’ come in any number of different guises: Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol or even having that quick bite to eat at the wheel. Taking your eye’s away from the road for just a split second could mean the difference between life and death!
However, one of the most notorious ways to drive dangerously is to use a mobile phone at the wheel. Nearly half of all road traffic collisions are proven to be the result of one or more parties using their mobile phone or other device while also driving.
Since December 2003, it has been illegal to use a mobile phone while driving. There have been many government campaigns in the past decade designed specifically to put people off from doing this. Unfortunately these measures don’t seem to have worked as well as hoped, there are still a huge number of accidents resulting from phone use at the wheel.
As a result, there are plans for newer and stricter rules to get through to serial offenders! For example, there are currently plans to start doubling the amount of points handed down to drivers that are caught. These changes are currently under review and are being examined by the Government. These are among the few new ideas that are part of a safety drive according to Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.
As it stands, Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe is asking that mobile phone using drivers receive six points on their licence rather than three each time they are caught using a mobile phone. This means that repeat offenders will receive a complete driving ban if caught only twice in three years.
Transport Secretary Mr McLoughlin is considering this idea in an effort to decrease the “appalling” levels of fatalities that are a result of accidents in which a mobile phone was being used.
But using a mobile phone is such a natural thing to do, many of us will happily have a chat while we are on the way to the shops, perhaps while waiting for a train or even while multitasking in the kitchen: So why not a quick chat when you are on the way home and there’s not much traffic?
Want Driving Lessons driving instructors will tell you that no matter what the road conditions are, 100% attention is needed if one is going to have a safe and happy journey. Not only will the driver need to be clear from any substances that could affect one’s ability to drive, but they should also stay away from anything that will take their eyes and concentration away from the road they are travelling- No matter how tempting this maybe!
These tougher new penalties are at the ideas and planning stages at present. However, it will be interesting to see what other effective plans the Government, Transport Secretary and Police will put into place to tackle this important issue.