Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Lounge Lizard

No, I don't agree with using a mobile phone when driving.

But is it really such a bad thing as it is popularly characterised?

Over the last 20 to 30 years, mobile phone ownership has gone from virtually 0% up to 100% of the population. We can say that many 10s of % of that number use, or have used, their mobile phone when driving.

If using a mobile phone when driving is all that bad then how come RTA death rates have continued to decline over that same period?

There are already offence categories to cover dangerous / reckless driving - why not simply use these to prosecute motorists who have been proven to cause an accident through driving when using a mobile phone?

But if using a mobile phone when driving is such an unqualified dangerous threat to road safety then where are all the bodies?

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - SLO76
I see people texting and speaking on mobile phones while driving every day in life. People are dying daily because of it and it's not before time it was stamped on... news.sky.com/story/a34-crash-lorry-driver-jailed-f...1
Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - NARU

To deter something you need (penalty for being caught) x (probability of being caught) to be sufficiently high.

We keep raising the penalty, but it only gets applied when someone dies. And then we expect them to be locked up 'for life/very long time'

Every time someone is killed by a dog, there is big media coverage, and demands for all dogs to be muzzled. There are an average of 4 deaths each year by dogs, but 5 are dying each day from illicit drugs and 4 each day on the roads.

If we really wanted to, we could cut the deaths on the roads much further. Volvo has set a vision to make sure that nobody dies in one of their cars within the next 5 years.

Working with young people, many of them drink less than we did when I was younger - but they seem to undertake other risky items at the wheel instead.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - NARU

I was following a big artic up the M5 yesterday who was weaving between lane 1 and the hard shoulder. Sure enough, when I went past, he was on his phone.

I'd hate to be an AA/RAC/Green flag/other patrolman at this time of year.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - NARU

Final contribution from me this morning ... focusing on the fact that most youth don't use their phones to make calls, but in ways that may be rather more distracting. Instagram. WhatsApp etc

www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/texting-distractions...8

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - sandy56

i DONT USE MY PHONE WHILST DRIVING.

One of my previous employer had some very strong rules on driving and phone use. DONT. If you were seen using your phone, either holding it or on hands free, you had one offical warning. If you were seen again then you were fired, no ifs or buts. They fired a number of senior managers due to this. Needless to say people obeyed.

World wide the company had seen a rise in the number of people killed due to driving and using the phone and decided to stop it.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - oldroverboy.

Round here (Colchester) there appears to be regular checks for phone usage and not wearing seatbelts, and recently 20 cars were clamped by the DVLA for no ved.

I know of one estern european gentleman who on receiving the notice for driving while using the mobile, chose to ignoe it and it then cost a lot more after the second letter. He paid after i told him that if it went to magistrates court it could cost him a lot more in fines...

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Snakey

The problem is the rule is a vague one. If you're on the motorway doing 70 and using your phone then you're dangerous, however sitting stationary in a 3 mile tailback and you pick up your phone and you're classed equally as dangerous.

I spend a huge amount of my time sitting at lights/roadworks/queues/etc on our awful roads and the temptation to do something out of sheer boredom is tempting - but the opposite when I'm actually moving. Problem is plod like an easy target so will most likely find you playing with your phone sitting in a traffic jam.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - peter moss

And nor do i ,going accross a roundabout with right of way a mercedes came fast from the left good job my ABS worked yes he was on the phone my car stopped about 3ft from the side of his car he leaned out said sorry and drove off unbelievable 3 seconds difference he would been through the side of our car !

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Andrew-T

I suppose as about 80-90% of drivers consider themselves 'above average', many also consider that their multi-tasking skills enable them to use their phones (not even hands-free) without affecting their driving. Unfortunately there are lots of couriers and suchlike under time pressure to deliver, even when they haven't been held up in traffic, that I can't see every phone remaining unused any time soon.

By now nearly everyone should know that dividing one's concentration while driving a ton or more of metal at speed is not a clever idea, but as being caught and penalised is unlikely, it will continue.

We should stop regarding this law as a 'ban imposed by nasty authority' - and hence to be ignored if we can get away with it - and treat it as something we should obey as beneficial for all concerned.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - scot22

It is an unjustifiable distraction. When drink driving laws were first introduced a significant number of people disagreed.

I believe it is black and white : no mobile phone use and, slightly off thread, no alcohol.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - concrete

It has always been a bone of contention. My first 'mobile' was hard wired to the car. No hands free and a normal handset. Soon discovered it was a nightmare whilst on the move. The same goes when mobiles became more portable, although hands free with the cradle charger, it was still a distraction. I drove past a speed camera whilst on a hands free call one day and after that I refused to answer unless stationary. Even now with the bluetooth interface it is still a distraction and I have mine turned off. It is easy to call later when safer. I am inclined to push for a device which disables mobiles when the vehicle is moving. A message can be buffered and go to the mobile as a text or missed call etc. when stationary. Better way forward and covers all the bases for normal public use. Until that becomes the norm, then I suppose draconian penalties are the only deterent.

Cheers Concrete

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - hillman

I think Concrete has a good idea. Now that almost all mobiles have GPS the software can be developed to disable the pohne when the GPS shows that the phone is moving. BUT, don't hold our collective breath. What if the user is on the bus / train /aeroplane ?

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Fishermans Bend

I think Concrete has a good idea. Now that almost all mobiles have GPS the software can be developed to disable the pohne when the GPS shows that the phone is moving. BUT, don't hold our collective breath. What if the user is on the bus / train /aeroplane ?

or a passenger is using a phone

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Fishermans Bend

RTI deaths would decrease more if selfish, aroogant, inconsiderate stopped using mobiles held to their ear while carrying out all other driver functions with one hand, or worse still checking their beauty face time, as if thats more important than concentrating on driving.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Avant

I wonder if there's technology available which would ensure that a phone works in a moving vehicle only when it's plugged in to the car's audio system.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Fishermans Bend

I wonder if there's technology available which would ensure that a phone works in a moving vehicle only when it's plugged in to the car's audio system.

That's a great idea.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - alan1302
But if using a mobile phone when driving is such an unqualified dangerous threat to road safety then where are all the bodies?

At your local cemetary I expect

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - barney100

Not to mention A & E when not quite not dead. Moral panic? deliberately looking at a phone texting whilst driving...how can that be defended?

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - SkodaIan

In my view they are using the sledgehammer to crack the wrong nut.

The problem which is just developing now is that car makers are now integrating the functionality of a smartphone into what used to be called the car radio. Using this will be completely legal, and because of that the masses will consider it 'safe', when it has the potential to be significantly more distracting than making a short phone call on a 1990s hand-held phone.

There's no way a specific law could be drafted to ban the use of these once installed in Type Approved cars. Any attempt would inevitably result in someone breaking the law switching on the radio or adjusting the heater, all of which are controlled by the same touchscreen.

The focus should be on setting requirements so such systems don't distract. Not allowing instant messaging (even with voice control) whilst the car is moving would be a good start. While they are at it, perhaps they could ban touch screens from functioning when the car is moving and force manufacturers to use the ergonomically superior mechanical buttons and knobs for any function which may need to be adjusted whilst moving.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - oldroverboy.

It was sobering to see the result of the A34 crash and other recent ones too!

I now no longer answer my hands free when driving, and suggest a fine of £500 and 6 points first offence and Double and 12 month ban minimum second offence complete with extended driving test to regain licence.

In case of an accident proven to have happened while using a mobile only third party liability to be valid plus a minimum of the above if at fault.

So if it costs someone their £20,000 car that'll be tough.

A few years ago i witnessed the heartbreak of a friend losing her teenage son who was killed crossing the road on a pedestrian crossing.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - concrete

I think Skodalan has a good point about distraction in general. I am sure with the will and the technology we have it is not too difficult to devise a system to remove the cause of the distraction. Be it disabling mobiles, except for emergency calls whilst moving or otherwise. Other concerns about touch screens are valid too. Legislation can only go so far on this, some form of 'engineering' around the causes needs to be done. Personally I don't answer my mobile whilst driving, not even hands free, most sensible people don't either, but there is the rub. It is obvious that many people are so important it is vital they are contactable at all times. It is vital they know what time tea is ready!!!

Cheers Concrete

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Avant

On the face of it, if the phone is fully integrated with the car's audio system, answering the phone and talking on it shouldn't be any more distracting than talking to passengers: I trust I'll be long dead before the nanny state bans talking in cars.

It's when you have to take your eyes off the road to fiddle with a phone, or a touchscreen or whatever, that things become dangerous.

My V60 has voice recognition, but because I've never needed to use it I certainly wouldn't try to use it while driving, unless and until I was happy that it worked smootly enough not to distract.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - alan1302

On the face of it, if the phone is fully integrated with the car's audio system, answering the phone and talking on it shouldn't be any more distracting than talking to passengers: I trust I'll be long dead before the nanny state bans talking in cars.

I disagree with you on that - talking on the phone even hand free like that is more distracting than chatting away to someone in the car.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - gordonbennet

I'll be a dissenter, as usual.

One size does not, never has, and never will, fit all.

Some people are competent drivers, some are competent natural relaxed drivers, some are incompetent drivers, some will never be able to drive competently if they gripped the wheel like their lives depended on it and concentrated 110% for every second they are behind the wheel.

In this country we increasingly dumb some things to lowest common denominator, we don't train encourage enthuse or reward striving for highest skills or dedication (think about those we work with, the permasick notes the utterly useless who get better thought of than those who keep the company going) we seem to try our damndest to lower the bar to the level of the idiot.

The recent cases, A34 in particular, was a case of dumbed down to the nth degree, wrong person in the wrong job, probably very cheap, quality is seldom cheap, cheap is not necessarily good value.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Wackyracer

The recent cases, A34 in particular, was a case of dumbed down to the nth degree, wrong person in the wrong job, probably very cheap, quality is seldom cheap, cheap is not necessarily good value.

I'd be very interested to know if said person actually took his HGV test here in the UK, while our HGV test has been dumbed down to the lowest possible requirement now it's still better than what is (or is not) done in some Slavic countries.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Andrew-T

On the face of it, if the phone is fully integrated with the car's audio system, answering the phone and talking on it shouldn't be any more distracting than talking to passengers: I trust I'll be long dead before the nanny state bans talking in cars.

It's when you have to take your eyes off the road to fiddle with a phone, or a touchscreen or whatever, that things become dangerous.

If only it were that simple. A car radio is unlikely to be seriously distracting, and many drivers are used to having one on as sonic wallpaper (I don't, as it happens). Most phone calls are probably fairly easily ignored, but I can imagine some which suddenly demand serious concentration from the driver, with consequences possibly as bad as on the A34.

The 'simple' suggestion is for the phone to be disabled while the vehicle is moving, but passengers may want to use it quite legally. Once again it may be calling for totally responsible behaviour from everyone - a tall order?

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - oldroverboy.

So, If the voluntary means of control won't work, either technically or educationally, the the only way will be to make the fines and punishments eye wateringly expensive.

It won't stop everyone but it will be heavily persuasive.

And for the great mass of uninsured,

How about

2 out of 3 of the following. (One might possibly be an oversight just meriting the fine/points)

Insurance. MOT. VED

2 of these including insurance and car is crushed, usual fine and points, no appeal!

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Listeria

I had a business partner some years ago and as I have stated hear before, I was driving him to the airport one afternoon some 70 ks away. He was on the phone constantly and kept trying to bring me into the discussion.

Eventually I pulled into a garage forecourt and told him I was not going to drive anymore unless he shut off his phone, I found just listening too distracting.

He was really upset, and wanted to drive himself which I refused. He eventually calmed down and switched the phone off.

Our business relationship ended, and I have recently heard he wrote his MB off in Berlin in a Parking garage.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Theophilus

So, If the voluntary means of control won't work, either technically or educationally, the the only way will be to make the fines and punishments eye wateringly expensive.

Sorry ORB ... I'm not persuaded that any escalation in the penalties would be effective, the issue is the lack of policing meaning that the offenders have no expectation of being apprehended.

If just 10% of those using mobiles whilst driving were stopped, fined and given 3 penalty points the message would soon get across. As things stand with no likelihood of being caught the level of the penalty is irrelevant.

Edited by Theophilus on 10/12/2016 at 16:03

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - joegrundy

Just some thoughts to add to this.

When I was a young Old Bill, 40 (gulp!) years ago, driving a marked ‘sector’ car, we had two radio networks on the go. One was the force-wide VHF (the one with ‘beeps’ if you tried to tune in), the other the UHF ‘personal radio’ which worked on ‘walkie-talkies’ –they could be linked.

Driving the car, sometimes it was necessary to use both channels. It was regarded as a major step forward when the VHF ‘PTT’ button was relocated onto the gear lever, cabin mics were introduced, etc. And yet, it was still a distraction when driving in challenging circumstances.

My view is that to drive properly is a full-time occupation – try doing a ‘commentary drive’ if you doubt this. Yes, I smoke while driving – cigarettes and lighter are in a place that doesn’t require eyes off road to locate. Yes, I have a bottle of water similarly placed. Both of these, I contend, don’t require me to take my eyes or concentration off the road.

I have long believed that current ‘infotainment’ screens – set below the driver’s eyeline – are a danger.

I don’t know about current ‘Od Bill’ fitments in cars. If they have multiple screens, ANPR, links to DVLA etc, etc. these cannot be good if used while driving, and may be more distracting than the things they are supposed to be policing. IMHO.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - RT

I understood that as autoboxes got more efficient, that some forces specified automatics as it eased the workload during high speed pursuit.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - oldroverboy.

So, If the voluntary means of control won't work, either technically or educationally, the the only way will be to make the fines and punishments eye wateringly expensive.

If just 10% of those using mobiles whilst driving were stopped, fined and given 3 penalty points the message would soon get across. As things stand with no likelihood of being caught the level of the penalty is irrelevant.

If even the current levels of people being stopped and fined were maintained/slightly increased it would concentrate minds.

It should not be about the risk of being caught, it is the risk of financial pain which will be a deterrent.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Theophilus

"It should not be about the risk of being caught, it is the risk of financial pain which will be a deterrent."

Can't agree ... I still contend that changing behaviour is more related to perceived likelihood of being caught rather than the level of the penalty ... consider how much more effective average speed cameras are compared with stand-alone cameras in reducing speeding- I rest my case!

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - concrete

I thought like that too Avant. Until I drove past a speed camera, at speed, during a conversation about work. I couldn't even remember the exact route I had driven after the conversation. Taught me a lesson. Only my personal view but I prefer to leave calls and uninvited conversations for when I have stopped driving. As for texting etc too dangerous to contemplate whilst driving IMHO. I have voice control too, but found it unreliable and frustrating so it is redundant.

Cheers Concrete

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - focussed

I'm 100% with you on that Avant - why should there be a distinction between talking to your passengers and talking to someone on a handsfree link.

Of course the next target of the road safety lobby groups like Brake is to stop drivers talking using handsfree.

link - www.brake.org.uk/media-centre/1582-yet-more-eviden...s

My view on this is that if you can't talk and drive safely at the same time - you shouldn't be driving at all.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - RT

I'm 100% with you on that Avant - why should there be a distinction between talking to your passengers and talking to someone on a handsfree link.

Of course the next target of the road safety lobby groups like Brake is to stop drivers talking using handsfree.

link - www.brake.org.uk/media-centre/1582-yet-more-eviden...s

My view on this is that if you can't talk and drive safely at the same time - you shouldn't be driving at all.

Because it's much easier to ignore passengers when traffic requires full concentration than it is with an "important" phone call

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Engineer Andy

I do think we need to be careful about the significant difference between talking to a passenger and someone on the other end of a phone whilst driving - I'll illustrtate with an example that I experienced a couple of years ago:

I was driving home from a survey in the Crawley area, using my phone's (Nokia Lumia 320 with Here Drive) satnav. The weather was appalling on the M25 - both bright sunshine and heavy rain, which meant driving on the concrete road sections was very difficult (very hard to see the lane dividers) with vehicles still driving fast and very close to one another (even in the nearside lanes), despite the variable speed restrictions and bad weather.

During this part of the journey, I received several calls from one of my managers - the first three I didn't pick up, but it was getting distracting as they were overriding the satnav, so I pressed the 'answer' button and used the hands free talk facility. Needless to say, the conversation was a complete waste of time, but the manager kept on asking questions even though I said that I neede to concentrate on some manouvres. A passenger, who could see the road conditions, would've (at least temporarily) stopped any conversation during this period. After 2-3 minutes, I told the manager I had to terminate the call because it was too distracting to keep talking, even though he wasn't pleased about this (even afetr I expelained this again the next day - he was a very poor manager in my view).

I may have not set my phone up quiet correctly to stop calls coming in at all (it was my first smartphone), but it just shows that unless the person on the other end of the phone is sympathetic or intelligent enough to realise the call was distracting (after I had said as much), they could not see the actual driving conditions and so would not know when to stop speaking to allow me to make a manouvre that needed my full attention.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Avant

Your last sentence is of course absolutely right, Focussed: everyone is different, and if an individual can't talk and concentrate on driving at the same time, then they need to ensure silence.

Most of us, I think, can do both, and on a long run a lively conversation may help to keep the driver alert and avoid the risk of drowsiness - which could be even more disastrous.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Bromptonaut

Most of us, I think, can do both, and on a long run a lively conversation may help to keep the driver alert and avoid the risk of drowsiness - which could be even more disastrous.

Most of us may think we can do both and 90% of the time we're fine. Then the drivers workload builds up - sudden squall, complex junction etc.

Found myself caught out yesteday evening around 16:30.

Mrs B and I were in different places, both of us in our cars on handsfree. Discussion not complex or heated, just what we needed when she stopped at the supermarket.

I was on the outskirts of Leicester in fading light and increasing rain. Approaching a four lane junction I needed to be in lane 2. In the course of manauevering I lost safe seperation from a Transit doing the lane 3-2 change. No drama, just a twitch of the wheel to correct my line but it wouldn't have happened if my mind had been fuly on the job.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - Fishermans Bend

A person on the end of the phone can't see what is going on around you, while a passenger can. The latter will know when to pause/shut up, the former won't.

Mobile Phone use when driving: Just a moral panic? - barney100

Never mind the stats, driving needs the eyes and brain on the road. Ues a phone whilst driving? immediate ban and good ridance.

 

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