More than 115,000 people in England and Wales got fixed penalties for being on the blower whilst driving in 2007, dropping off from the 2006 peak of almost 160,000. Figures are only available up until 2007, but according to a parliamentary answer the number of drivers caught talking on the phone peaked in 2006, and is dropping …
I still see many drivers talking on the phone daily, commercial vehicles and tractors seem to be high on the list where the drivers think it's 'good to talk'.....
Handsfree kit anybody?
- you can cough up tens of thousands (or at least thousands) of pounds (per year) to buy / lease a car
- you can cough up a few grand or more each year for maintenance / registration / petrol
- cou can cough up hundreds of pounds per year for mobile contract
But you are too cheap to buy a decent, hard wired handsfree which only costs GBP100-150 (or less for the plug in units)?
You deserve to be fined!
PS: I know phone calls are a distraction even when using handsfree, but so is conversation with your passengers.
Those considering banning handsfree kits should then also ban passengers - or at least gag them :-)
...but the jury's still out.
Around my way - rural but not enough to get totally-crap adsl speeds, and not enough to escape the lazy sods using us as a rat run - 'white van man' does seem to have got the message, and only yesterday I saw a skip lorry driver pulled over to use the mobile, but it has always been overwhelmingly female drivers on the hand-held blower while negotiating this winding road on which there is a good chance a horse and rider will be round the next bend to say nothing of another car, a lorry, cyclists or pedestrians.
I have been walking the lanes all my life. Once you rarely saw a car around here: now they know they can cut out the traffic lights on the London Rd and at certain times of the day it is heart-stoppingly busy now. Naturally they're in a hurry - it is why they're using this route in the first place: not to enjoy the rural setting, but to get from A to B as quickly as possible. And some women drive past - as though they resent people walking in the lane - too fast, too close, like treating the pedestrian to a game of chicken for having the audacity to make them consider others. They probably do think that if it is a road (even one made centuries before the combustion engine, that people have always walked) then it is meant for car drivers alone.
There are stupid men and stupid women, but the stupidity manifests itself differently as in just about everything else, natch. Men will kill bystanders by driving too fast and driving aggressively. Women will do it by driving as though laws don't apply to them, seemingly by dint of imagined social and intellectual superiority.
Given the billions spent on dodgy gov.uk IT projects one would expect that by November they could produce a figure of how many fixed penalty tickets were issued in the previous year - in fact one would expect a total for year-to-date to be available. Or are there people in India still typing the hand-written tickets into the system?
Lies, more lies and?
How about reporting some actual statistical analysis of whether fleecing motorists has had any impact or road safety? How about asking what these laws give us which the already existing laws didn't? How about some journalism instead of just posting official government claims on road "safety" policy.
I still find it hard to see how actually holding a mobile, whilst talking, is any more distracting than using a handsfree. You're still using the same amount of brain-space.
What if you were holding something else whilst talking on your handsfree? Like a hamburger? Or an unopened can of beer? Or your pet Stote? That would be legal, right?
Why oh why
Is it always women or chaps with very expensive cars ?
Never mind all the real criminals
Lets just fine people with jobs and busy lives and leave the rapists. burgulars and murderers to get on with their lives.
Next on-the-spot fines for families trying to get into good schools.
NuLabour - Creating criminals of the hard working middle class.
It astonishes me how people think that the drivel they perpetually spout Is important enough to risk other peoples lives for.
Can we have a hangem and flogem icon please!
If you see some inconsiderate retard muppet using their hand held mobile phone whilst driving, throw a medium sized rock at the car/windscreen. Either that, or the coppers should crush the toe-rags' phone in addition to the fine.
I followed some daft be-atch for two miles from the centre of Bath during the rush-hour a few months back. The journey took around twenty minutes and she was on the phone the whole time. Her driving was pretty sheeite, although this may not be directly attributed to her marathon nattering session it couldn't have helped.
Only nabbed 115,000? Considering there's probably about 2,000,000 doing it every day those figures are piss-poor. Now, where's my jack boots? I fancy going out for a bit of goose-stepping.
Its good to now people are getting collered for this
Everyday I see people driving about whilst merrily chatting away on their phones, often with them wedged between ear and shoulder whilst trying to perform non trivial manoeuvres. Just yesterday I saw someone with phone in one hand, cigarette in the other, made me want to jump in front of him.
You find me one of these 115,000 people who own a mobile phone that is not equipped to handle the task of having a hands free kit attached to it (either wired or blutooth). Most phones these days come with a headset in the box. Bluetooth car kits are far from expensive, there is no excuse!
Nothing to do with the Police not being out there stopping people as often anymore?
I see many drivers on a daily basis flouting the rules as i'm sure others do. If anything I see more now than I did in the first year which followed the higher penalties. It's a rule that seems to have been forgotten by many drivers. LGV drivers are often on the phone after a delivery round here...
Judging by the amount of people I still see doing this on a daily basis, 115,000 isn't enough.
Just a thought
Maybe the numbers are dropping NOT because fewer people are doing it; but because the Police can no longer be bothered to do anything.
I see people every day talking on their phones, I have followed people for more than 20 minutes while they have continued to talk, on motorways, dual carriageways, around roundabouts, etc.
Last week I saw a woman fail to signal a right turn, hit another car, stop, manoeuvre, park, and then sit waiting for the elderly driver of the car she hit to come and talk to her; ALL with her mobile glued to her ear.
155,000 caught ......
....millions of idiots still doing it. The irony is that in my experience of travelling the M1 everyday it is the people that would appear to be able to most afford/most need a suitable handsfree kit are the people that are still doing an Dom Joly impression while driving 2 metres behind the car in front with their full beam on. Yes you BMW/Audi driving twats, you know who you are.
it should be a lot more, the amount of people you see on the road that look like they have got a broken neck while driving as they try to hold their phones and have two hands on the wheel.
"or die in the resulting accidents"
Natural selection at its finest?
The art of driving was lost years ago anyway...
I do a regular commute on a motorway on a motorbike, yeah I must have a screw loose.
Phone usage is still common on there, as is people texting (I can see them in the mirror with their eyes flicking up and down and as I pass I can see them holding the phone under the driving wheel) also people reading books, paperwork. A couple of weeks ago I saw someone using a laptop (On their lap) while they were driving! This isn't just when the traffic is slow but at normal speeds as well.
Everyone crams into lane three, leaving lanes one and two almost empty, lane one is where I sit usually quietly undertaking them. Most people drive with their eyes glazed over not paying any attention to what is going on around them. They all sit too close and they have to all over brake all the time, well maybe it helps to wake them up ever so often.
There are regular accidents on this motorway, always in lane three because of the above mentioned everyone cramming into that lane, driving too close and allowing themselves to get distracted with their gadgets.
The quality and state of the driving on the roads has gone to hell and no one cares anymore. Occasionally I get shocked when someone does something like acknowledge I am there on the bike and gives me some space, but thats rare now these days.
I saw something yesterday that summed up how people drive now. Walking along the road I saw a van driver driving with his eyes glazed over, he went straight through a large puddle and soaked some poor woman pedestrian. To me this is the level of courtesy and attention that I consider normal for car drivers these days, sums it all up to me.
My bike is currently having a service at the moment and I have discovered my stress levels have gone down, using the train this week and maybe considering that I should get a train pass and use the bike less for work.
So please, what is wrong with you car drivers? None of you seen to care anymore, none of you bother to look and see what is going around you or think about your poor driving actions. You are making it a knightmare for everyone else on the streets and roads.
The motorcar is sending everyone to hell.
In a recent, utterly non-scientific survey recently while waiting for a bus, about 1 in 12 drivers in the queue passing me was either talking or texting. Makes me think that the legislation isn't making a jot of difference, largely because traffic cars are like rocking horse shit these days.
Not round here
Still loads of drivers on their phones at the wheel round here. Mostly BMW drivers and idiot yummy mummies in their chelsea tractors.
I'm tempted to spend a day standing on the pavement with a camera just so I can dob them all in to the police.
Rules of the Road.
I don't know the exact rule of the roads over in England, but here in Ireland it is actually against the law to have ANYTHING in your hand while driving.
Its considered that if you have anything in your hands that you are not giving complete attention to your driving and so you can be done for driving without due care and attention.
I can't find the news report right now, but I do remember that a few years ago there was a successful prosecution of a man who was eating an apple while driving!!! He obviously ran into the cop on a really bad day :)
Paris (because holding any part of her would definitely be a distraction)
@irish donkey 08:55
To be fair, the "rapists. burgulars and murderers" don't kill anywhere near as many people as the bloody car drivers in this country.
1st offence: Big fine and a week in stir
2nd offence: One hand removed (better hope they drive an auto)
3rd offence: Other hand removed - both problems solved
Still some idiots on here
no statistical analysis needed - you can see it with the naked eye. I've lost count of the number of times I have seen someone weaving all over the road or almost running into the back of someone while trying to use their precious phone while driving.
It IS illegal to have anything in your hands while driving, not just a phone. It also has nothing to do with the amount of 'brain-space' talking requires, but everything to do with the fact you are operating machinery designed for two-handed use with only one hand. It is far more distracting to be trying to juggle a phone from hand to hand while changing gear etc just so you can keep talking. A hands-free is dirt cheap and no more distracting than a passenger so there really is no excuse.
Donkey is right, just because you have a 'busy life' gives you the right to kill or cripple someone because you either didn't see them as you were playing with your phone or couldn't keep control of your vehicle in an emergency situation as your hands were otherwise occupied. I'll say it again, if it is so important that you can carry on a conversation no matter what you are doing - BUY A F*****G HANDS-FREE YOU CHEAP B*****D
i tend to Slam the horn on if i see somebody doing it
i use hands free in the van
pick up and Scream at whoever is on the phone im looking for somewhere to pull over !!! (i drive a 2cv (its noisy at 70) so there is no point in trying handsfree (technically possible at <50mph))
If you can't drive a car and use a phone/eat a sandwich/swig from a bottle of water at the same time then you have no place being behind the wheel of a car. Seriously to all those who cry about distraction and number of hands on the wheel and concentration etc etc ad infinitum - seriously, are you saying that if something happens that demands 100% of your attention you're incapable of dropping the phone/sandwich on the passenger seat and putting the 'being in control' bit first? If you have one of those brains that would freeze up and go 'oh noes I need to change gear and lane and use the brakes but what should I do with the phone in my hand?' then to be fair you're probably a menace with or without the phone.
Opening and consuming a Ginsters Chicken and Mushroom slice should be part of the driving test - you could earn bonus points that wipe out 'minors' in other areas if you don't get pastry flakes on your shirt.
Road legislation is just like ITIL change control. Necessary to a point but if you make it overly specific and utterly ridiculous then people WILL start to selectively ignore the bits they perceive they can get away with ignoring - believing that they are operating well within their means. At which point the regulations become meaningless. I've been pulled over and accused of being on the phone when I was actually holding an ice pack to an injured ear en route to hospital. Thinking about it logically my hand was in the same position so yes I only had one hand on the wheel. And trust me I reckon I could drive better on the phone compared to driving with a throbbing ear and half head brain freeze! But guess what? One is ILLEGAL and the other, arguably more dangerous, isn't. The law is an ass.
I've probably seen more than that on my daily commute over the last year.
It's not about the distraction, it is about the fact that you can't drive a car properly one handed.
You need to change gear, indicate and steer when driving. You simply can't do that safely and effectively while driving, even with an auto gearbox.
Plus there's looking at the screen to dial, etc..etc..
In the split second you're looking down a child could walk out into the road.
UK drivers can be pretty awful as it is, phones make it even worse. Especially younger drivers who have an attention span so low that they have to text people while driving!!
@ David Cook
"Yes you BMW/Audi driving twats, you know who you are."
Indeed, it seems that many Top Gear-watching BMW drivers are now attempting to hide their 'cock' status by driving an Audi instead. Mr Clarkson, take note.
I'm actually quite surprised at the lack of support here for these selfish b'stards using hand-held mobile phones whilst driving, considering the amount of people I see doing it whenever I manage to get out of my chair and into the real world.
I had a very narrow escape in the early 90's driving whilst using a mobile. No accident took place, no person harmed or property damaged, but I leaned my lesson.
Oh no not again
Holding things while driving (Sweeping Brush): you can still get done for driving without due care and attention, etc (as you can if you are using a hands-free kit), even if it's not specifically illegal to hold something while driving. A law forbidding holding anything whilst driving (or supporting it on your lap, etc)
Natural selection (Dale 3): erm no - overwhelmingly it is the innocent such as motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, not to mention other drivers, who are the victims of this criminal behaviour.
Conversation on phone vs conversation with passenger (AC): why does this always come up? Are you particularly stupid or are you just trolling? A passenger:
1) knows you are in a car so you can't be expected to give their conversation 100% attention;
2) can see when driving conditions are difficult and can see you so can tell by your body language when you need to concentrate on the road;
3) has a vested interest in not being killed themselves by distracting you.
Good, still not enough though
@RE: Handsfree kit anybody? - Try more like £30 for a reasonable handsfree that does what it says on the tin (and I'm talking bluetooth not wired), even less excuse.
@ratsac11 - Yup those actions can also be deemed illegal, if the Poll-ece decide your not in proper control of your vehicle they can pull you, whether it's a hamburger, cig, cock or stote in your hand, if it's not on the steering wheel your a potential accident.
Generally speaking, driving standards in this country are crap and getting worse mainly due to arrogance and ignorance. I applaud the police force that made the youtube vid of what happens when a young girl is distracted by her mobile phone and crashes (think it was the west midlands police, can't find the link at the moment).
Quite simple really
80% of van drivers are on the phone, one hand on the wheel not bothering to indicate. Changing gear involves taking both hands off the wheel. Distraction leads to poor inattentive driving.
This is already illegal, the prosecution figures merely reflect the level of enforcement, which is generally feeble but may vary according to police fiefdom.
Please you need to tell me what your car registration is so that when I see you on the road I can keep WELL AWAY FROM YOU.
Fuckwit, you just don't get it or you are trying to troll us all.
Those few seconds it takes you to drop whatever you have in your hand can be the difference between having an accident and not, especially at high speed you tit.
I have a friend who was of exactly the same opinion as you until a 9 year old girl stepped out from behind a parked car - the girl was in hospital for 3 months and no my friend wasn't speeding.
Looking back my friend says if she hadn't had to drop the phone she would have been able to control the car better and avoided the accident. She still has nightmares about the accident and feels she should have served more than the 3 months in prison that she got.
With people like you it's always 'it won't happen to me, I know what I am doing' - UNTIL IT DOES
@irish donkey, @Onionman
@Irish Donkey - Someone who kills due to their own negligence whilst behind the wheel of a car IS a real criminal. If you kill someone because you were looking at your phone instead of the road, its NOT an accident.
@Onionman - "in a recent, utterly non-scientific survey recently while waiting for a bus" - I hear there is an advisory role for the government drugs tzar going -you sound perfect for the job! ;-)
No problem, don't break the law and you don't get "fleeced". Or "punished" as socially responsible individuals call it.
Or do you think your "right" to break the law is worth killing a someone for?
At AC 11:01
You're the kind of moron we see every now and then on TV getting away with a slap on the wrist after killing some kid due to low quality driving. Arrogant and ignorant and thinking you're above the law.
I'm a big fan of this law (though not the piss-poor way in which it's enforced) as it means I can tell my boss when they try to call me that I couldn't answer the phone cos I was driving - hence the anonymity of this post.
is a blanket ban the answer / necessary?
How many times has a 9 year old girl stepped out in front of you on a clear motorway ?
To my mind this is the same as the ridiculous blanket statement that 'speed kills' which should actually say 'inappropriate speed for the circumstances kills'. One could perfectly safely use a phone in some traffic situations, crawling along in a jam or on an empty motorway being two fo them.
Having nearly been flattened by an idiot who decided not only to use his phone while driving through heavy traffic but that he could write a Frikken EMAIL on his blackberry while coasting along I really think some of these idiots should be strung up attempted manslaughter =/
But then I'm sure a lot of people can talk and drive just fine at the same time.
If we had more actual cops on the road then we wouldn't need this stupid law and it could just be a case of pulling over dangerous and stupid drivers and using the fact they were on the phone as an additional pointer when it comes to deciding how hard to slap them...but that's far too sensible..
I don't normally drive the motorways in the daytime, but have driven both the M1 and A1M (and A1) in the last few weeks. How many times have I been following someone (on my cruise control so I know that it's not me) to find them suddenly slowing by 10, 20 sometimes 30mph? I've lost count. Invariably they have a phone to their ear when I pass them.
Straw pole from the M1 motorway bridge (my kids are doing statistical analysis at school so it was educational, honest!) on last Saturday afternoon - between 30 and 35% of drivers with a phone in their hands.
We have cameras everywhere - why can't they just devote one days footage over to identifying and fining these b'stards.
To the guys talking about BMW drivers becoming Audi drivers - yes, I heard on a local radio report that an Audi dealer was reporting a rise in sales from people who did not want to be associated with the BMW stereotype any more.
You can identify a BMW owner by looking at their forehead. You'll see the scar from the complimentary lobotomy you get with your first BMW - It's where they remove the 'Cs' compassion, caring, concientiousness, carefulness, etc. and replace it with the 'As' aggression, arogance, etc.
You see people using their phones while driving all the time. The 115,000 represents just the ones they have caught. And of course, "road safety" cameras detected almost all of them...
The worse cases of driving I have seen always occured near schools. Mom/Dad distracted by screaming/fighting kids in the back of the car causing them to be late for work etc.
Ban kids from cars - that should work. Make them walk or catch the bus.
If you had been paying attention, you would have heard Top Gear point out a year or so ago, that all Audi drivers are cocks, and that BMWs are therefore now safe again.
Brain won't let me.
I don't know, I just *can't* use a mobile phone, handsfree or not, while I'm driving. I find it impossible, my brain just wants to concentrate on all the dangers of driving.
So somehow it is safer to use a phone at 70 because you are on a motorway?
I refer you to may previous post, those couple of seconds make a big difference ESPECIALLY AT HIGH SPEED. There is no such thing as an 'empty' motorway. Unless you are gifted in a way that allows you to see the future, you can't tell if something is about to run across it like a rabbit or, as has happened to me, a deer. You could squish the rabbit but most people panic when an animal runs out in front of them and automatically try to swerve - highly dangerous if you don't have full control of your vehicle. You certainly couldn't squish the deer without coming badly off. If you are driving where you should be if the motorway is empty i.e. the left hand lane you might only have a couple of seconds to react when you see something moving across the hard shoulder. What if your tyre blows or something else goes wrong? Suddenly having your phone glued to your ear isn't such a bright move is it? Why are so many people so reluctant to dig in their pockets and would rather put others at risk. My hands free cost me a grand total of £5.99, hardly breaks the bank does it?
Your 'right' to use your phone does not supersede my right to not be involved in a collision at any speed.
BTW: I think the current 70mph limit is way too low on the motorway - I am not anti-speed. Speed doesn't kill, inappropriate speed does, trouble is some people do not know what appropriate means like the pillocks who insist on doing a ton when it is really busy, weaving in and out of lanes and tailgating when they can't get to the next lane.
Out of curiosity, do you drive a BMW or an Audi?
The video was made by Gwent Police. Sufficiently nasty that it had a caution rating on YouTube
Strikes me that there's a case for government interference that would be useful. Mandate that every new car sold in the UK/EU/Choose your Market should have bluetooth fitted as standard. It won't stop the texting knob heads but would at least cut down on the number of senseless gobshites that can't resist making calls without handsfree. Over time, the situation would get better.
The Grenade - becasue that's fair punishment for anyone causing an accident while using a mobile.
The idea of banning the use of mobile phones in car is two-fold:
to try to get the idiots who use their phones non-handsfree to use what remains of their braincells on concentrating on the road, their car and other road users, and
to make it easier to keep control of the car.
Picture, for example, while you are quietly peddaling your nice Saracen or Trek bike down the road, some pillock (possibly called Wayne or Becky) is yapping away on his/her latest bit of technology bling, when said driver suddenly spots you and on-coming traffic. Git driver needs to slow down, change gear and steer round cyclist. But, oh, what to do with only one free hand and expensive gadget to keep safe? No time to evolve into a three-armed creature, no time to slip phone down carefully so as not to scratch the shiney touch screen. No problem, give the right pedal some welly speed past, through an ever-narrowing gap between obstacles. Sorted.
Except not. 1 broken arm, 1 broken leg and a bent bike later, the Police show driver up as an idiot who shouldn't be in control of his/her own breathing, let alone a powerful car.
Wise up, people, it's fecking dangerous!
As of 2008 (I think) animals must be securely restrained in cars, so the pet stoat is a no-no.
Likewise, my mates in the Police are now prosecuting people who drive while consuming their happy meals or tall,skinny lattes.
Drivers (and yes I also drive) need to realise the consequences of their actions and accept the punishment if they break the law.
Read what EyeCU said about using a phone on an empty motorway, then read what I have to say about using a phone in a jam.
When the traffic has stopped on a motorway then bikers like me will start to lane filter, I keep my speed down when I do it and do it in a legal and safe way.
Then I usually have to cope with someone on a phone, they are usually the ones who have been too busy on a phone to take care in their lane positioning and can end up too close to the white line and end up blocking the bikers progress. So I end up having to flash my lights or pip my horn or even knock on their window to distract them off the phone and let them know I would like to get past and can they move the car over an inch.
It's annoying on a bike trying to get past a stationary car when the driver is in Lala-phone land and not paying attention, you may be stuck in the car but there are other vehicles on the road that don't get stuck and you, you selfish person are blocking their progress.
Also in the city you may get pedestrians crossing between cars in stationary traffic (I have to be so careful on my bike and go dead slow because of this) if you are on your phone you may not spot the pedestrian about to cross in front of you just at the same time a gap appears in front of you to allow you to move forward. Unlikely to happen, but I have seen some near misses like this.
There shouldn't be a grey area when you can and can't use a phone when driving, you should take it as a matter of pride on your driving ability that you should be in full control of your car at all times.
Nah, who am I kidding, you won't understanding what I'm saying.
I would just like to drag some of those car drivers out of their cars and make them ride a bike for a year they would say "Crap, I didnt realise that thing I do in the car that feels so innocent can cause so much concern and worry to a biker"
So you're saying that even though you're moving slowly, it's still ok to use your phone while driving? What if the driver in front of you brakes suddenly and you crash into them, because you were too busy yabbering away not to notice? The law is the law for all speeds for a reason; you can still cause a fair bit of damage to a car even at 10 mph.
If I'm in the car with my husband, he'll answer the phone for me and I'll do the same for him, but if I'm on my own I plug my handset in. It really ain't rocket science to use the handset you get with your phone and Bluetooth sets are mega cheap these days.
I'm currently training to be a driving instructor. I gave the guy at the interview a good laugh when I said one of the reasons I want to do it is because I'm fed up with the amount of numpty drivers on the roads. I don't claim to be the best driver in the world but as soon as I see some eejit with their phone glued to their ear and doing 40 on the motorway it does make me want to shout at them.
...or eating a cherry tomato salad from their lap as I once saw someone doing.
I presume you're either WUMing or don't have the brain-power to be driving, let alone driving and doing anything else?
If you have anything in your hand (but the wheel and gears) while driving, how the hell are you supposed to manoever? If you have the phone to your ear, how are you going to twist neck and body to check your mirrors or blind-spots properly? Lane discipline is appalling these days anyway, but the chances are if someone cuts you up on the motorway without indicating, or wanders into your path on a roundabout, they're holding their precious Moby and aren't physically in control of the car.
As for lorry drivers, perhaps you forgot about the student killed when their car was crushed to a bean can on the M3 a couple of years back by a texting trucker? There really should be an automatic re-test for any trucker who gets caught, because as others on here have pointed out, it's pretty unlikely that those getting caught are novices.
if you have to
If you have to respond suddenly to un-forseen circumstances, you shouldn't be behind the wheel of a car anyway. If you're looking and planning far enough ahead unexpected things don't suddenly happen.
In a car, nothing "suddenly" happens. You can see well in advance what's going to happen if you look for it.
For example, people don't "suddenly" change lanes in front of you and cut you up. They were visible to you for a couple of minutes before they changed lanes. You can invariably see the traffic in front of them and will see if they are approaching slower traffic and will have to change lanes. If your a good driver you will accelerate or decelerate to ensure you arn't passing them the moment they need to pull out to pass another car.
I'm with the bikers on this, the majority or car drivers live in their own little world and are re-active drivers rather than pro-active drivers. And I'm a car driver.