Don’t Talk and Drive
The first widely available mobile phones that were available in Britain at the beginning of the nineteen eighties, were actually, the car phone. Presumably it was because the car could give the phone a constant supply of power, in the days of early-use lithium-ion batteries.
It was a warmly welcomed innovation for the driver and passengers, a concept that today, sounds like the equivalent of building a bar into your vehicle, with beers and spirits on tap.
The mobile phone grew quickly, metamorphosing many times to arrive at today’s smart phones, of which there are more of in Britain than there are people. Another interesting statistic is that globally, more people have access to a mobile phone than access to a toilet!
So, back in Britain at the present time, it seems mobile phone use and driving has been identified as a huge no-no. In the light of a number of high profile court cases following tragic and fatal road traffic accidents, the Transport secretary has proposed some strong measures to try and combat the use of phones whilst driving.
The current penalties for using a hand-held device are similar to those relating to driving without due care and attention. If seen, the offender will be given a fixed penalty notice, which carries a fine of one hundred pounds, and receive three penalty points on their license.
Under the new proposals, the fine would be two hundred pounds, and doubling the penalty points to six. This would mean, two strikes within the three year points expiry time, could result in disqualification from driving for at least six months, and a fine of around one thousand pounds.
These penalties should help concentrate the minds particularly, of motorists who have recently passed the test, or within the previous two years, as the six point rule would disqualify them completely.
This would mean having to re-take, and pass, both the theory and practical driving tests all over again.
Bringing the offence into line with other offences such as driving without insurance and permitting no insurance will hope the Government help to stop the practice, but in the meantime if you have been caught for not having valid insurance, or letting someone drive your car without having insurance in place, contact Pattersonlaw.co.uk for free advice on how to best defend the allegations against you.
If this is the only way to stop driver-distraction, in the light of terrible accidents, then so be it, but be aware that using the device at any time with the engine switched on, can result in drastic punishment, as the same rule applies if you’re waiting on red at the traffic lights, or stuck in a traffic jam.
The only time the driver can use a hand-held phone is parked, with the handbrake on, and the engine switched off, and that’s not only for a chat, it also means don’t tweet, like, text, or check emails or texts. All in all, probably best to just turn it off in the car!