Driving & Mobile Phones Law
The use of mobile phones while driving is a hot news topic and becoming more so, with several high profile fatal accidents being attributed to drivers using mobile phones in the moments before the accidents.
Several studies have demonstrated that using your phone behind the wheel has a bigger affect on your driving than drink driving does…… which is quite frightening.
Motorists reaction time and attention is severely hampered by smart phones that constantly chirp with emails, text messages, social media messages and news updates…. with all the information at our fingertips, it’s no surprise that so many drivers are tempted to check their phones whenever they beep.
Because police tend to look for drivers using hand held mobile phones to make phone calls, many drivers now avoid talking on their phones, instead using the phone for messaging……. which is more dangerous than talking on the phone because drivers tend to hold the phone in their laps out of sight and then have to look down and refocus on the small screen.
Reaction times to then look up, refocus on the road ahead and then react to traffic conditions is the main reason sited for the rise in accidents.
How the authorities deal with this dangerous issue is a subject of much debate. Late in 2016 the penalties for using mobile phones and driving doubled from ￡100 fine and 3 points to ￡200 and 6 penalty points.
Six points they are hoping will be enough of a threat to deter drivers from using their phones but if there are no police to enforce the law, it becomes an irrelevance in many respects.
In the aftermath of most accidents, mobile phones are checked for usage and a driver found to have used their phone in the run up to the accident is commonly cited as the cause of the accident.
Cameras are being developed that can police seat belt offences, mobile phone offences and more. Whether this will be enough to force drivers to ignore their phones, only time will tell.