Different viewpoint on mobile phones - BobbyG
Up till now I have been a firm believer in the fact that using a phone whilst driving was no worse than trying to light a fag, change a tape, argue with the wife, have screaming weans etc.

They are all distractions but only the mobile phone has had research into it and, subsequently action taken on it.

However, whilst I was sitting in a long queue of moving traffic today (see separate thread), the guy behind me was having a heated conversation into his mobile, one hand was holding the phone and the other was being used to express his actions that no doubt he was telling his caller.

So I am doing 50mph in nose to tail traffic, the guy behind me is driving without a single hand on the wheel!

I flick my sidelights on and the guy obviously sees these at the last minute thinking I have braked. He is totally lost in his conversation, the phone is thrown to the floor, his car swerves into the inside lane and he then gives me the finger and a bawling!

I now advocate a ban on phones!
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - J Bonington Jagworth
Better late than never! My pet hate is drivers emerging from junctions with the damn thing pressed against their ear, as they are clearly so busy/important that they can't waste two minutes to park up and deal with the call.

God help us when the current generation of teenagers learns to drive and insists on texting while on the move...
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - borasport20
God help us when the current generation of teenagers learns to
drive and insists on texting while on the move...


Seen enough youngish adults doing it recently without waiting to see anymore. Perhaps they are daft enough to think they are not 'making a call' so it won't be illegal next year....



I have to grow old - but I don't have to grow up
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - Welliesorter
I was texting in a traffic jam in Bangkok. You're jammed
solid, doing nothing, so why not?


I've done that before (not in Bangkok) and I don't see any harm in it. In fact I'd be interested to know whether under the new legislation it'll be illegal to use a phone when stationary in a jam.

On the other hand I knew someone who used to text while driving and it terrified me. The person in question was so familiar with the phone's keypad that she could send a message without looking but that's not the point.
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - Flat in Fifth
God help us when the current generation of teenagers learns to drive and insists on texting while on the move...


JBJ, its here already!

Off duty traffplod on his way home followed a m/cyclist weaving all over the road at 30 in a 40.

Wheen it was safe to pass the plonker was riding with one hand and texting with the other!

Different viewpoint on mobile phones - eMBe {P}
Up till now I have been a firm believer in the
fact that using a phone whilst driving was no worse than
trying to light a fag, change a tape, argue with the
wife, have screaming weans etc. >>
They are all distractions but only the mobile phone has had
research into it and, subsequently action taken on it.


In fact research has shown conclusively why mobile-phones are really more dangerous (hand-helds more so than hands-free, but both are more dangerous than the other activities you list). The bio-nuerological-medical reason can be found by searching this site for previous discussions on this subject. However, if anyone believes the other activities to be no more dangerous, I would suggest that the logical thing for these safety conscious drivers to stop indulging in those activities too.Just because other bad drivers insist on behaving dangerously does not justify you doing the same thing.
I now advocate a ban on phones! >>

Ditto, with the proviso/addendum "while driving".
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - GrumpyOldGit
Riding home on the M25 last evening I wondered why the Escort in front of me was weaving about in lane 3 at the posted 50 mph. The idiot driving appeared to be using his mobile to write a text.

The reason the limit was at 50 was due to the volume of traffic but this moron still happily drove in lane 3 at 50mph while spending most of his time looking down at his phone.

Ban phones? Banning morons from the roads would be a better move. Stupidity of that order should result in an automatic ban from driving as well as a big fine.
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - Dwight Van Driver
Some may be interested in the progress of the coming of the ban on use of mobile phones.

It will be an offence from 1 December 2003 to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving a motor vehicle. Offenders will be subject to a £30 fine, which can be increased to a maximum fine of £1000 if the matter goes to court. The Government is planning to legislate to make it an endorseable offence, so that drivers will get three points on their licence each time they are caught holding a phone.

AS yet I have been unable to find the relevant Statutory Instrument - may well still be laid on the table in Parliament - but interesting reading as to what is to come can be found at:

tinyurl.com/nt98

which is the decision document following the consulation period.

DVD
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - Dwight Van Driver
Further:

www.tinyurl.com/nta5

dvd
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - Ian (Cape Town)
Using Handheld phones while driving is an offence here - big fines. I agree with it.
The Plod are often lenient though - there's a difference between saying "hi, on my way, bye" or "hi, can't talk, in the car" and having a long-winded conversation.
I've 'lost' 10kms of journey once - too busy yammering away* to the mob at work who couldn't find something on my computer.
By the time I'd talked tyhem through it, I was much further down the road - can't remember a damn thing!

*hands-free kit!
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - GJD
I've 'lost' 10kms of journey once - too busy yammering away*

*hands-free kit!


I have used handheld and hands free mobiles and I find it is the act of holding a conversation with someone who isn't in the car with me that is highly distracting. The effect of driving one-handed vs two-handed is negligible in comparison (*).

I understand hands-free kit is to be permitted, which makes me wonder whether rigid enforcement, if that were to happen, of the new law will achieve much.

I sincerely hope nobody is prosecuted for using a mobile in a stationary traffic jam. That is surely not in the spirit of the new law.

GJD

(*) Obviously that excludes things like changing gear and turning into / out of junctions etc which can't be done one handed.
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - jeds
I have to agree with BobbyG. Most people seem to focus on the driving with one hand bit, but that really isn't a factor at all.

I spend a lot of time driving and could not keep my business running without the mobile phone. I noticed a long time ago that when I am on the phone I often miss motorway turn-offs. I don't ever do this at any other time so it has to be due to being on the phone. I now have a good quality Nokia car kit - you know, the proper hard wired things. It makes no difference. I still occasionally miss a turn-off.
Different viewpoint on mobile phones - Cardew
The Government have got it just right - particularly where it states
"This would mean that the prohibition would apply even if a vehicle was paused at traffic lights or stopped in a temporary traffic jam or in very slow moving traffic"

Different viewpoint on mobile phones - PoloGirl
If texting from traffic jams is to be banned, then programming sat nav should be banned too. Too many reps on the M6 have almost had Polo's back bumper because they've been fiddling with their screen/settings.


enforcing the ban - Terminator
If you are caught using a mobile while driving on many continental countries, you risk a very high fine on the spot. On the continent the police stop motorists all the time for checks and driving with no licence, insurance, MOT or with bold tyres is not a very good idea.

During the 20 years or so that I lived in the UK I was only stopped once, for speeding and they even returned my fine. So the chances of being caught using a mobile phone on the move are so negligible that hardly anyone will pay any attention to the new law.

I see bus drivers using mobiles while on the move with 50 or more passengers on board. Why don't the police stop them, for a start?
enforcing the ban - Alan
One pet hate is to see someone leave their driveway while talking on the mobile; I tend not to let them in when I might have done otherwise. Why don't the phone before they leave the house.
enforcing the ban - Rob the Bus {P}
Am I right in thinking that this new ban on using a mobile whilst driving even includes being stopped, with your car in neutral and your handbrake on parked by the side of the road?

I'm all in favour of a total ban, having seen some fine antics in the course of my working day. But surely if you make an effort to be safe then you shouldn't be penalised for it?

Cheers

Rob
enforcing the ban - J Bonington Jagworth
Does that mean you have to move to the passenger seat to avoid committing an offence? I should have thought that the defining condition would be having the engine off - or will it simply be an offence to use a mobile phone in a car? Swings of the pendulum and all that...
enforcing the ban - Welliesorter
Am I right in thinking that this new ban on using
a mobile whilst driving even includes being stopped, with your car
in neutral and your handbrake on parked by the side of
the road?


I wondered about that too. The only time I've used my phone (no hands free) is at a standstill in a traffic jam on the M1. The delay was so long that I'd turned the engine off.

From DVD's second link (sorry about the length):

"3. The consultation document suggested that the proposed offence should apply unless the driver was parked with the engine switched off. Some respondents felt this was unreasonable and would prevent drivers using their phones while caught in a traffic jam.

"4. We consider that drivers should not use hand-held phones while at traffic lights or during short hold-ups that may occur during a typical journey. However, we accept the view that it is unnecessary for a vehicle to be parked with the engine switched off in order to avoid prosecution. Under existing law a person may be regarded as "driving" a vehicle while the engine is running and the vehicle is stationary. We consider this satisfactory for the purposes of this offence and will not therefore include a new definition of "driving" in the regulation."

Does anyone else see a contradiction in that last paragraph? Could it be that 'unneccessary' was substituted for 'necessary'? There's no such inconsistency in Paragraph 4 of DVD's first link which states:

"4.We propose that the new regulation should apply in all circumstances other than when the vehicle was parked and with the engine off. This would mean that the prohibition would apply even if a vehicle was paused at traffic lights or stopped in a temporary traffic jam or in very slow moving traffic."

I'm all in favour of a total ban on phones except where you're not actually moving, or likely to need to move. We've all seen examples of the sort of ridiculous behaviour this legislation is designed to prevent but prosecuting someone for using a phone while not moving would just make the police look stupid.

enforcing the ban - J Bonington Jagworth
It is contradictory, isn't it? No wonder our laws are so inconsistent, if they are framed by the same people.

As for: "Under existing law a person may be regarded as "driving" a vehicle while the engine is running and the vehicle is stationary", does that mean that you are not driving the vehicle when stationary in traffic with the engine turned off? Or is that another offence?
enforcing the ban - THe Growler
Farcical. The only people laughing, as usual, are the lawyers.
enforcing the ban - daveyjp
Well done to the C class coupe driver I was following on the M62 last night for managing to avoid the idiot in the Golf who wandered from the middle to the outside lane. When I overtook the Golf guess what I saw? Yes, the driver on the phone, another second and a disastrous pile up could have been the result.

Also a message to the Evo driver on the M621 who overtook me doing well in excess of 100 mph (more like 130 I reckon) - I hope you were caught and receive a lengthy ban. Yes I did drive on the hard shoulder as you were in half the lane I was occupying when you overtook.
enforcing the ban - Phoenicks
I agree on the hand held phone being worthy of an offence if used whilst driving, but i have to ask whats the difference between using a hands free kit and talking to a passenger when driving?

None as far as i can see, and no i dont have one in my car.
enforcing the ban - GJD
I agree on the hand held phone being worthy of an
offence if used whilst driving, but i have to ask whats
the difference between using a hands free kit and talking to
a passenger when driving?
None as far as i can see, and no i dont
have one in my car.


That's what I thought until I'd actually used a hands-free kit. But concentrating on a conversation with someone who isn't there with you just seems to be far more distrcting. Perhaps any psychologists out there might be able to offer an explanation.

I look at it the other way now. Handheld or hands-free, the conversation is just as distracting. The only difference is that one involves driving one-handed.

Given that people drive one-handed a lot, that difference is only significant in situations (eg tight manoeuvring out of a junction, high speed formation motorway driving) where not having two hands on the wheel would be considered reckless under any circumstances.

GJD
enforcing the ban - eMBe {P}
That's what I thought until I'd actually used a hands-free kit.
But concentrating on a conversation with someone who isn't there with
you just seems to be far more distrcting. Perhaps any psychologists
out there might be able to offer an explanation.
I look at it the other way now. Handheld or hands-free,
the conversation is just as distracting. The only difference is that
one involves driving one-handed.


GJD: I referred to this in my post dated above at 08.54, 18 Sept 03.

I cannot be bothered to dig out the previous thread, but essentially your brain uses more resources when talking to a person absent from your near surrounds and in fact uses up some visual sensory areas as well. This explains why people tend to veer across as well as not remember details of their journey while on the phone. Hand held adds the loss of full-control over steering/gears but it is the act of conversation with an absent person that is the main cause of danger.

I do have a hands free kit in my car, but when I am alone in my car, I use it to tell the caller I will return their call from a safe parked area later. I take special care as soon as the phone rings to pay extra attention to my driving. If I have a passenger, I let them answer and do the talking (or pass on my holding reply) on my behalf. It is safer to tell my passenger what to do then reply to the caller direct.

My obsession with safety precautions comes from my early training in the nuclear industry.
enforcing the ban - Phoenicks
Fairly interesting response. Certainly answers my post. I didnt realise you were a doctor/psychologist.

On a seperate note, is there any reason for continually using bold type on EVERY post you do? Its like reading posts where is it is all in capitals. We get your point without the bold type.
enforcing the ban - Mark (RLBS)
>>On a seperate note, is there any reason for continually using bold type on EVERY post you do?

Phoenicks,

If Dave, HJ or I have an issue with the style of someone's posts, we'll let them know.

Don't try and do us out of a job.

Mark.
enforcing the ban - HF
Well seeing as people have been done in the past for taking a bite out of a sandwich when stuck in traffic, it does not surprise me at all that the mobile phone law will take the same course.

Ridiculous, but unsurprising. I do advocate that they should not be used while actually driving, though, and the sight of the total ineptitude of drivers with a mobile stuck to their ear makes me very mad.
enforcing the ban - Altea Ego
I can but assume here that the boys in blue will as usual apply common sense in the enforcement of this law.

IE they will knick the bloke doing 100 MPH using three lanes with a phone in his ear, They will knick the mother negotiating a busy shopping street with phone in her ear and three screaming brats in the back, they will knick the bloke I saw last week sitting at a green light with a queue behind him because he had a phone in one ear and taking notes with the other hand, and they will turn a blind eye to the person sitting in a traffic jam that hasnt moved for 15 minutes making a quick call to partner at home and trying to prevent the now cold dinner ending up in the dogs bowl!
enforcing the ban - NARU
I can't remember the last time I saw any traffic police around here so don't expect the new law to make any difference at all.
enforcing the ban - GJD
I can't remember the last time I saw any traffic police
around here so don't expect the new law to make any
difference at all.


I'm sure they can be dug out from somewhere to satisfy the "something must be seen to be done" brigade.
enforcing the ban - Roger Jones
Would you pass a driving test if you used a phone while doing it? I think not. Says it all really, doesn't it?

As for the hands-free option, you regain a hand but are still missing half your mind. Any passengers engaged in conversation have a sense of what is going on outside the car and of the need for the driver to concentrate. I recall switching the radio off and asking everyone to shut up while I drove into a large town on Crete for the first time in a hire car -- distracting noise, let alone a real conversation, would have disabled me to a reckless degree in that unfamilia environment.

Driving requires a constant effort to impose total control, and that means total concentration -- you need all of your limbs and all of your brain. It's dangerous out there.
enforcing the ban - Sooty Tailpipes
What about pedestrians using mobiles? a few weeks ago, I had to brake very hard and sound the horn at a pedestrian on a mobile who walked in front of me, luckily for him, I anticipated his actions and was ready for it.

I do agree that people should not drive while using a hand-held phone, I have done this before, and it is VERY difficult to drive, you don't have the extra concentration needed to drive with one hand.

I use a proper hands-free kit, and don't have any probs, I drive as carply as everyone else if I use a mobile in my hand, but I just drive as though Im talking to a passenger if I'm on the hands free.

My theorie, is that for an experienced driver, many driving tasks are automated with little concious intervention, but when talking more concious intervention is required, but when holding a phone to your ear too, so much concious intervention is required to drive, that you are as bad as a new learner.

 

Value my car