The number of people charged for driving while talking on the mobile has been climbing steadily for the last few years. The majority were Londoners, who are also the most adept in getting away with it. The figures come from a commons answer in response to a question from Bury MP David Ruffley asking how many drivers were stopped …
Kent Mobile Phones
"Unless they live in Kent - where no one has apparently ever used a mobile phone handset whilst driving"
Thats because no one there has figured out how to use them there yet :P
Just post a marksman
No messing around with 3 points and £60 - pop a 7.62mm in the offender.
If you're thoughtless enough to be yapping into a mobile whilst driving you deserve to be collared.
Possibly they don't consider their call worth risking their life over but take it anyway because they don't think they're risking their life.
The driving exam should test your ability to prioritise your concentration while talking (on the 'phone or to a passenger) or fiddling with the radio while manoeuvring. It's not hard.
How fucking stupid..
do you have to be to continue to do this.
Go to your local Tescosainsburymorrisonsasda supermarket
Buy a bluetooth headset (from about a tenner upwards)
Either use it or don't use the phone whilst you drive.
(and if you're mobe hasn't got bluetooth, buy one of the wired hands-free kits @ about £2)
Seven to the head I say!
Whenever there is somebody in front of me driving like a complete dimwit I can be sure said person has their mobile crammed between head and shoulder. Sometimes they do it so they can at least keep both hands at the wheel. Sometimes they steer one-handed and the other hand just dangles in space instead of at least holding the phone properly. This self-important permayack condition of many drivers is highly disturbing. If your call is important enough to risk your and others' lives it should be well important enough to stop the darn car.
Stupid is as stupid does....
I just can't believe how many stupid people there are. I still see several every day, yapping on their mobiles as they drive along. Do they think they are special in some way, and that their actions aren't actually a risk to other road users? Odd, cos you should see them drop it like a hot brick if they happen to pass a plod car coming the other way.
I bet they are the same morons that have dreadful ring tones - or maybe they are the new breed of tosser that walks along the street using it like a mini ghetto-blaster.
Just makes me wonder how they ever survived before the ****ing contraptions were invented.
Hail, Fine and Ban them.
People who use their mobile phone whilst driving should face a fine at 5% of their annual salary before tax and a ban. Second offence should be jail, a fine at 10% of annual salary and a further ban. Third offence should be a life ban from operating all motorised vehicles, a fine at 20% of their annual salary and not less than 3 months in jail. Same for people who go through a red light.
In all cases pleas of "mitigating circumstances" or "causing undue hardship" should be considered no defence. Might make the selfish bastards think.
There is NO EXCUSE for ever using a mobile whilst driving (even hands-free). Too bloody dangerous, driving in the UK is bad enough with all the morons about.
The Daily Fail and their like will see this as more evidence of a 'war on the motorist' and 'revenue raising' on the part of the police. Sigh.
and double those fines for those "stuck" in yellow box junctions.
AC, Dracon and me
Hey, 12:20 AC. A little harsh but I agree a ban would be good. The penalties are only good if people can be caught. I wonder what the percentage of people offending to those being caught, let alone ending up in court is.
Bans are a good deterrent, not that you'd think that causing death by dangerous driving wouldn't be a deterrent. However, maybe something a little extra for people who text whilst driving, like say life imprisonment.
I still see it all the time
....and its always women yapping, and their spacial awareness is bad enough!!
what really gets me is....
these fools who drive and can afford exec and top level cars yet they wont go for the handsfree option or even pay 10 quid for a bluetooth headset. thats just tight.
yet my lowly ford focus has built in bluetooth, how i cackle with glee at those in previously mentioned vehicles when the filth pull them
Talking while driving
Every day now I pass numerous people on my cycle who are crawling along in slow traffic while looking down in their lap *texting*.
Its interesting the reactions you get if you tell someone to put their phone away. They genuinely believe they're not putting anyone at risk, because crawling in slow traffic doesn't seem to be considered to be actually driving! No really, this is what most people I've had words with really seem to believe.
They all seem to think I'm one of those cycle Nazis(*) who think that all car drivers are scum and I'm just trying to give them grief for the fun of it. I'm actually trying to get them to realise that while looking down in their lap they're eventually not going to see one of the numerous pedestrians who cross the particular road I'm talking about between the slow moving traffic. (Pedestrians don't really have much of a choice because the traffic is so heavy in the morning and the few crossings are quite some distance apart)
(*I should point out that I'm variously a cyclist, a motorcyclist, a car driver and also on occasion a white van man - so I have no particular predjudice, but people do like to cling to their stereotypes...)
Stupid Rules Will Get Ignored
The risk isn't in holding the phone, it's the yapping taking up all the braincells. Hence, we should ban stupid people from driving and talking at the same time instead. In the meantime, I'll be yapping on my handheld phone, smoking and having a coffee at the same time.
Paric, cos even she has enough brainpower to talk and drive.
GIve them a blast on the horn
If there is no other traffic and I have one of these selfish drivers coming towards me, I will give them a little toot on the horn to voice my displeasure.
I just happen to have air horns fitted. Always sharpens them up a bit.
I think more drivers should admonish bad driving when they see it. If an idiot had all 9 cars flash their lights/horn at him/her as they cut up, tailgated or overtook dangerously, maybe they might think about it a bit more.
Buit please add "And having the offender's phone stomped on in public at the roadside before being shoved up their rectum."
Actually that's probably a bit harsh.
Just shove it..
Even more baffling.
What amazes me is the number of people I see talking on their phone whilst driving out of a car park. Why didn't they just stay where they were until they'd finished the call?
Paris, because she knows the perils of modern communications technology.
re:I see it all the time
An obvious troll and I rise to the sparkly bait
- I don't see that many female van drivers but it appears to be obligatory to have a mobe welded to the ear for most delivery drivers - oh and blokes who look like sales reps. It must be the type of vehicle at fault.
I also experience problems with drivers who realise that their twat-nav really does mean turn off here -- and then forget to indicate and dive for the turn off without using mirrors, either.
Re: Kent Mobile Phones
"Thats because no one there has figured out how to use them there yet :P"
Yes they can. But the people of Kent can get away with it because they can hold the phone with their prehensile tail. So it's still hands-free.
I was nearly run off the road (M1) at the weekend by some 'tard on his mobile in his Range Rover while he was changing lanes, undertaking etc. I drive a tiny little roadster, both my passenger and I would have been dead, just so he could take his phone call.
People who use mobile phones while driving should be banned, no points, a ban. It's not like speeding where a little lapse of concentration can result in you going too fast or you can break the law a little bit (ie: a little over the speed limit), it's a concious decision and should be treated as such.
El Reg readers and Neo-Nazis
Phew! By some of the rants here, a fair number of readers would make Hitler and other despots look like Mother Theresa. Mysonginists to boot. There again, I suppose these are the same people who live in their IT ivory towers who think they are far superior to mere users. I am sure they have never transgressed the law or done anything stupid (from their point of view) and would only be happy when everyone lives according to their rules, which will invariably be based on closed-minded, anally-retentive and bigoted views.
Also I've noticed the numebr of fools who have their phone on speaker phone and holding it and yelling a conversation. As if they're thinking that by not having the phone pressed against their ear it doesn't make a difference!
that the British like their new morality but unfortunately the facts don't seem to add up. I tested a group of people on a driving simulator and there is no evidence to show that talking on a phone was any worse than talking to someone next to you. Of course this means the person has to concentrate more on the driving than the phone call and clearly some people don't do that.
Kids fighting in the back seats proved much more of a distraction.
@ AC Neo Nazi
Is this the collective noun for people who upload their music to their MySpace page? Or did you mean misogynists?
Paris - well even a misogynist couldn't _really_ hate the little darling?
RE:El Reg readers and Neo-Nazis
I take it then you think its fine to use a phone whilst driving, whilst we are Neo-Nazis for wanting people to be safe and stop being selfish? Very very odd point of view.
Well next time you use a phone driving I will hope for the same thing I hope for every time I see someone driving dangorously. That you have an accident because of it. Nothing fatal or involving anyone else, just hitting a tree or somthing, and hope that wipes the smug look off your face.
Either that, or go out on a motorbike and see how many people dont see you because they are on a "very very important call"...
How can we shame them?
As a pedestrian, how can I help shame the drivers who are yakking?
I've tried pointing at them a couple of times, but without much success.
I even deliberately walked out in front of one driver - calculated risk - and suceeded in making my point that time.
BTW, @simulator comparison, there is a difference: The passenger is aware of what else is going on, so can stop talking. Perhaps this exposes one of the differences between a simulator and real life.
The USA's NHTSA, http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/, clearly state that it's bad, although it's not banned at a Federal level yet. (I'd have posted a specific page link, but wouldn't you know, their site's down right now.)
PS. I don't even use hands-free when I driving anymore, because I find that personally I still get noticeably distracted. However, it's permitted within UK law, so I support anyone who's practiced enough to do so safely.
Just too many...
....people don't know how to switch their bloody cellphones off. If it doesn't ring, you can't be tempted to take the call.
As to the "Stupid Rules..." AC, I can talk on the phone and drink tea and cook simultaneously. The maximum possible damage would be a broken cup, a wet floor and a burnt dinner. On the motorway, however, the casualties tend to be higher.
Over the course of the last decade, I have been forced to emergency brake or dangerously change lanes w/o having the time to look in the mirror, and once actually forced off the road (thankfully onto a hard shoulder) by braindead idiots yakking away on their cells while driving.
My suggestion would be to confiscate the phone, take away the license for a year or so and for good measure auction off the car, the money going into a fund for children orphaned by dangerous drivers.
@ GIve them a blast on the horn
"I think more drivers should admonish bad driving when they see it. If an idiot had all 9 cars flash their lights/horn at him/her as they cut up, tailgated or overtook dangerously, maybe they might think about it a bit more."
No, the type of person you are talking about would, undoubtedly think "fucking wanker" about every person who flashed and or beeped them as they went about their stupid way.
Nail 'em up!
I have suffered two near misses, ( always an strange phrase, near hits surely? ) from selfish planks on phones who think the law doesn't apply to them! Just pulling out of side roads and not looking, too busy gassing about some pointless cack no doubt!
Car manufacturers required to fit some gizmo that blocks of fuzzes mobile signals within the car.
Pedestrians encouraged to take photos of drivers on mobiles, with licence plate in photo, date-stamped and sent to a central number/website. If CCTV and traffic cameras are proof, why not a photo from the public?
Letting enraged cyclists and pedestrians, as well as virtuous drivers, drag offenders out of their cars and hang them from the street lamps in lieu of gibbets.
Er, OK, the last was just a thought.
I don't really see how being on a hands kit is any less dangerous than holding the phone to your ear. You're still splitting your concentration between the road and the conversation.
Personally, I don't like the ban/tax/fine attitude this country has to solve all of life's problems. Whatever happened to education?
If the police want some easy catches...
to up their stats, go chasing mobile/driving in the Cambridge area. Far more common here than in other places I've been.
I could hardly look the other day as in my rear-view mirror I could see a phone-driver squeezing between a bollard in the middle of the road and a cyclist at the edge - at a particularly narrow bit of the A10. Moron.
Stiffen the fine
From what I have observed, I don't think the new penalties have made that much difference.
The issue is that there just aren't enough Police on the roads to catch people.
In this Stalinist government I'm surprised they're not checking the location information from the base stations, correlating that with an open call connection in progress, realising that the position of the person is changing too rapidly for them to be walking.
Ah, perhaps they haven't got the location info in real time all into a single database yet...roll on Ms. Wacky Backy.
I think they need to stiffen up the penalties further. I always felt that they weren't tough enough, probably more of a money making scheme. If you really want to deter people from using a phone whilst driving, make the standard penalty £200. Then let's see how the numbers using their mobile fall.
a FINAL solution to this
ALL phones have a GPS (or something similar) in them -
require the phones to SHUT OFF if traveling more than :
this allows talking while walking, or even running and the ability to call the office/Missus when caught in a never ending line of stopped traffic.
BUT - stops talking while driving -
Simple - sorted -
Kind of strange to see anyone around here not on their phone. Still, it's probably reflected in the accident statistics. Personally I always try and put out the cigarette and put the coffee down before answering - got to be responsible and all that...
A logical punishment.
Don't ban them from driving - ban them from owning or using a mobile phone. For the duration of the ban, hook their mobile up to a responder that carefully explains to callers why they can't get through.
You, sir, are a moron...
If I am travelling at more than 12km/h, am I definately driving? No... I could be a PASSENGER in a car, bus, train or boat. And then there was that incident where ATC got in touch with a small plane by mobile phone when his radios died...
There are good things too...
Anonymous - "Personally, I don't like the ban/tax/fine attitude this country has to solve all of life's problems. Whatever happened to education?" - there's no point. People in the UK don't believe a law applies unless they stand an 90% chance of being caught.
Anyway, while I firmly believe we don't dish out enough lifetime driving bans (think how public transport would improve if more middle class people were forced on to the bus) in this case can we wait a bit ?
You see I need a new rear bumper for my VW van. My plan is to keep an eye on my mirror in traffic, find someone on the phone and brake sharply. The someone will be a small, lone driver who will find a very angry 6foot 2 fat man screaming at them and dragging them out of the car. A deal will then be offered - give me £100 for a new bumper or we can talk to the Police, who will be told to request the appropriate mobile records.
So the idiot will be presented with a get out of jail card OR a chat with a copper who has been presented with an easy collar to improve his detection record.
In fact I wonder if it would be possible to restore a car by a series of in town bumps...
You, sir, are a genius.
It will stop the inane gibberish I have to listen to on the train. There would be a rush to make calls as the train came to station but accelerate away and bye bye calls.
@ almost everyone
Errr... I think y'all got the wrong site. Why not nip over to hys and spEak You're Branes?
Mobe in car bad, yes. But keep it in perspective will you? The rant above is worse than the daily mail.
For those who dont see the simple logic in shutting down the phone after 12kph (8mph)
there could be easy exceptions for emergency numbers (in the states 911 - no clue what it is over there).
again - as I said earlier -
Not Good to Hold Anything while Driving/Stereos More Distracting than Mobiles.
(Steering wheel and gear lever exempted, obviously)
I can't believe how many people insist that it is just as dangerous to drive while holding a phone as on a hands-free.
Regardless of how distracted you are by the conversation, not being able to steer, check mirrors or change gear as well MUST make holding the phone a bigger culprit than holding the conversation. Same with the dozy woman eating a salad with a metal fork while driving parallel to me yesterday!
According to a recent BBC article:
""A survey by motoring group RAC shows almost half of drivers are seriously distracted by in-car technology - rising to 55% for 17-to-24-year-olds. The most distracting gadgets were radios and CDs, followed by mobile phones and satnav systems which each put off around a third of drivers. Heating and air conditioning controls distracted 35% in the survey of 1,034 motorists.