Although the recently introduced laws outlawing the use of mobile phones while driving were hailed as a life saving measure, the impact on drivers has not been what it should be.
Recent reports have shown that the majority of drivers are ignoring the ban, putting both themselves and innocent bystanders at risk. This is not just a UK problem, with surveys worldwide indicating a lack of respect for the new laws. So what next?
It seems inevitable that the UK government will further crack down on the use of mobiles while driving, with increased fines and the risk of imprisonment if involved in a major incident. On the spot fines and penalty points will continue, however the courts are set to be given tighter guidelines to punish offenders. It is widely reported that over 60% of drivers are flouting the laws, with the majority of incidents occurring in the male, under 25 age group.
While the majority of drivers cautioned by the police have been talking on their mobiles, there has been a growing number of cautions for drivers texting while on the move!
What are the consequences of using a mobile on the move?
There are many well documented side effects of using a phone while driving, including amongst others, a reduced level of concentration, a lack of awareness of your surroundings and reduced control of the vehicle. These three elements together are a recipe for disaster, and have played a large part in many road accidents reported in the UK.
Even though there are many so-called “hands free" products available, these devices have been shown to play a major part in road fatalities. Even if a drivers attention is distracted for one moment, there is the potential for disaster.
While the government have acted to try and curb the use of mobiles while driving, the vast majority of drivers are of the opinion that they will not be caught. Unfortunately, the authorities have no option but to increase the penalties for drivers caught flouting the laws, with imprisonment a real possibility for those using a mobile and involved in any road incidents.
Recent hard hitting advertising campaigns by the UK government seemed to have a short term effect, although this was short lived and drivers soon fell back into their old ways. Until the attitude of drivers changes, the mobile phone will continue to be a very dangerous weapon in the hands of a driver.
Mobile Phones Ban