traffic cops - bell boy
i hope everyone watched traffic cops tonight that centered on the use of mobile phones and how they do kill while on our congested roads.
i would also like to shake the hand of the policeman that gave the woman in the bmw a piece of his mind and glad that he gave 3 points to the man taking the shortcut down the hard shoulder
traffic cops - type's'
I don't understand why people without handsfree just don't turn the phone off when they get into the car. It's a habit I have got into and it's great - freedom from people bothering me whilst driving.
traffic cops - Cymrogwyllt
simpler than that. Car on, phone off. end of story.
traffic cops - turbo11
Totally agree.I put mine in my coat in the boot.Then I am not tempted to answer it,as I cant hear it.I wouldn't want that cops job for any money in the world.Having to tell a family of the death of their daughter.Gut wrenching.
traffic cops - Stuartli
I thoroughly agree with you that the use of mobile phones whilst driving is both a stupid and dangerous practice - I'm not even convinced about hands-free kits as both are very distracting whilst at the wheel.

It's difficult if not impossible, I believe, to hold a telephone conversation with someone whilst driving a vehicle, as concentrating on a phone call means that attention is taken away from what's happening on the road.

That's without even mentioning the need to steer the vehicle, change gear, watch out for hazards etc.
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traffic cops - Stuartli

The driver of one lorry being filmed from the police vehicle ahead of him was not only using his mobile but also had both hands off the wheel at one point.
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traffic cops - type's'
>>I'm not even convinced about hands-free kits as both are very distracting whilst at the wheel.<<

I agree with you - I am in the 'car on phone off camp' as stated above by cymro but was travelling recently in friends car with bluetooth and phone is operated via stereo controls and when he was making calls he was totally distracted from his driving by going through his list of names etc to make calls. I pointed out to him that it was not like operating the radio where just press one button and that is it.

traffic cops - Pugugly {P}
I don't make calls only take them. (on a hands free)
traffic cops - aaflyer
What's the law on CB use then? I'm thinking mainly of truckers but can the mic be held on the wheel while transmitting so making it slightly 'safer' by removing the need to take your hand from the wheel?
traffic cops - Bromptonaut
The legislation on handhelds, introduced two years ago, is specifically targetted at mobile 'phones. Users of CB, PMR446 etc are still vulnerable to a charge of without due care or whatever.
traffic cops - Red Baron
You really are a bunch of amatuers. Go one better. I have no mobile phone at all (although SWMBO does).
traffic cops - nortones2
Little needs to be added to your view Oldman. An awful outcome from a stupid lack of foresight. The priveleged owner of a driving licence should keep their attention where it belongs.
traffic cops - PhilW
"both hands off the wheel at one point."
Bit like the van driver who I "flashed "through on a narrow village street today (car parked on my side) - he took his left hand off wheel to give me an acknowledging wave but kept his phone to his right ear with his right hand------- and nearly ran into me

traffic cops - ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond
In that programme it said it was the policeman's pet hate people talking on the mobile while driving...Mine too!!

I think it was more than a pet hate. You could see it really peed him off. Not surprising really when he see's bad things happen while driving because of people on their mobile.
traffic cops - Vansboy
& we should share some thoughts for the family of the poor girl, who were kind enough to permit the programme to be aired.

It must have been such dvastation for them & to allow it to become even more public, must have taken some courage.

If this televised tragedy stops more collisions (they're not 'accidents' any more are they), then the family can be proud of what they've let us all see.

I can't understand anyone using a 'fone, while driving. Never tried hands free, but couldn't get on with a Blutooth thingy stuck in my ear either.


traffic cops - Kevin
The fatal accident at M3 J6 horrified lots of people who use that junction regularly because it was only a matter of 'when?'. During the morning rush hour the exit sliproads are almost always backed up onto the main carriageway because of the traffic lights on the roundabout.
I used to use that exit fairly regularly and it's pretty scary to be stationary in the inside lane watching an HGV rapidly approaching in your rearview mirror with everyone ignoring his signal to be given room to move into lane 2.

At junctions like this the hardshoulder should be converted into an exit lane at the 300yd marker.

traffic cops - Roger Jones
I think it was Stephen King who was interviewed recently on the radio. The interviewer said "You're one of the few people in the world without a cell phone, aren't you?". Answer: "Yes, that's true, You are a slave to those things." Couldn't agree more. Like Red Baron, I don't have one. I've never had one and never will. I well recall seeing one for the first time (in the days when they were the size of a brick) in use in London in a stationary car, and I said to myself "Oh no, please, no."

Programmes such as Traffic Cops are the best we have these days in terms of public-information films. That was a good one. Let's have more.
traffic cops - IanJohnson
Didn't see the programme . . .

I had hands free for 7 years and IT IS a major distraction. Remember one evening on A roads taking a call and 15 minutes later when the call ended realising I had driven past the garden centre I was intending to visit - total absorbtion in the call, don't remember anything that happened on the road - although there were also times when I have said "hold on a minute" while I need to deal with a major junction. It is not the same as a conversation with someone in the car!

Phone comes with job, law changed 2 years ago and company policy changed so we are not supposed to use phone when driving (hands free or not) so when car was changed at about the same time car kit went and did not get a bluetooth headset.

One of the best moves ever made - I ignore it when it rings and deal with the messages/missed calls later. Should be banned altogether when driving - If the call is essential pull over, if it isn't don't make it.
traffic cops - mr.freezer
Good on Stephen King. If I wasn't supplied one with my job I would not have a mobile phone either.

How important are these people that insist on answering there phone over any other matter in hand ? Driving is just one activity that is affected, remember some people will answer a call whilst conversing with someone face to face. Do you really think they will care about risking 3 points ?

On the flip side though, before all the hysteria and self righteousness dug in about phoning and driving I can remember driving for 2 1/2 hours up to Aberdeen one morning pretty much constantly on calls. My right arm felt a bit funny with no blood in it but I still payed attention.

Hands free along with aircon is a reps best friend (but not those Alan Partridge/Minicab driver earpiece bluetooth things)
traffic cops - R75
Me and SWMBO were discussing this after the show, and saying how things have changed. When I worked for RoyalMail a few years ago we had car kits fitted, then they were removed and policy was to have company phones switched off when driving, this was way before the law changed. Then my next job I had a car kit, but only managers cars had the kits, all my drivers had mobiles but I told them not to answer when driving, just call me back when it was safe - I never minded if they had them turned off, as long as they checked for messages every hour or so.

I have a BT headset , but rarely use it, and SWMBO has a Parrot kit in her car, don't use it that often but I prefer her to have some access to the phone, she is a capable enough driver to know when it is not safe to use even a hands free kit, and she dosen't spend hours on the phone anyway. When I change my car I will put another Parrot kit in, for the sake of £80 it makes sense and I only take important calls when it is safe to do so - other then that they get a call back.

One last point, is talking Hands Free really any different to chatting to a passenger?
traffic cops - PW
Last point is very valid TU as I have noticed that when my lift drives I am a lot more chatty in the car, and probably spend 2 to 3 times longer chatting and is less idle chit chat.

Only thing I can put it down to is that I am not concentrating as much on what is going on around me.

Have got a hands free kit for the phone- but is for emergency only or calling to say am stuck in a jam.
traffic cops - No FM2R
>>One last point, is talking Hands Free really any different to chatting to a passenger?

I find it quite different. Much more absorbing. I don't know why, and I couldn't explain it, but as an earlier writer said, I have completely missed a journey, or a turning by some miles, simply because I was on the phone. Unfortunately hands-free in the car is seen as some way of recovering the lost time spent in a car staring at the one in front. Pity public transport is not more flexible

I am increasingly trying not to use it, but to avoid it totally is not easy.
traffic cops - Dalglish
... One last point, is talking Hands Free really any different to chatting to a passenger?


yes. apparently, according to controlled independent scientific experiments, with repeated retests, it has been shown that is the case.

i think it has come up in backroom discussions before.

as with drink driving, the safest policy is : if you drive don't drink and don't use the phone.

traffic cops - ShineOnYouCrazyDiamond
One last point, is talking Hands Free really any different to
chatting to a passenger?

Some how the human mind can cope with someone sitting next to you talking.
You concentrate on the road and the conversation is just automatic.
While talking on a phone and driving for some reason you get zoned in on what the person is saying.Concentrateing more on the conversation than the road.

One of lifes misteries (mistery's?), like why do we turn the radio down while looking for a street name.
traffic cops - sierraman
One of lifes misteries (mistery's?),

traffic cops - greenhey
The phone legislation has had no effect . I see even more use of hand-held phones than before, driver with 30+ people on board /numerous lorry drirvers even when navigating the tricky junctions in the villaage near me.
This programme serves to prove the point- how rare poilce action is , for all kinds of reasons.
It shouldn't be necessary to legislate on this anyway .I get very depressed about peoples' lack of consideration for others .
traffic cops - WipeOut
I was speaking with my next door neighbour the other day. I noticed on his steering wheel he had a post-it-note to remind him to drive slowly. When I enquired he said he had 9 points on his license due to speed cameras and had to slow down. I asked how he missed the big yellow boxes, his reply....

"I am too busy talking on my phone, and didn't see them".

What can you say.

traffic cops - Stuartli
I've had a mobile phone since August 2000. I've still got £1.07 credit left on only my second £10 voucher in that time.

It's purely for emergency purposes or for those wishing to contact me and I won't use it whilst driving under any circumstances.

The emergency use has only been called on once, when I broke a bone in my foot after slipping during a walk with the dog on a golf course late one wet summer evening.

I also save money having the phone. Parking charges at local hospitals, where my wife has a number of regular appointments over a month, are £2 a throw.

As she may only be away for 10 minutes, say for a blood test, I park in one of the nearby streets about 200 yards away. When she is ready to be picked up she lets my mobile ring three times and then terminates the call. Simple and cost free...:-)
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traffic cops - No FM2R
I thought credit expired ?
traffic cops - Stuartli
>>I thought credit expired ?>>

Not with Virgin Mobile...:-)

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traffic cops - IanJohnson
Not with Orange either - for several years. Although they do disconnect if it is not used for a while and you have to call them to get them to re-connect.
traffic cops - Xileno {P}
If you're stuck in a queue of traffic, using your mobile hardly poses a danger. I thought the reaction of the traffic cop was OTT in this instance.

However, on the open road clearly this is unacceptable and anyone who does it deserves to face the law.
traffic cops - Chicken Vindaloo
The bloke in the van who was tootling down the hard shoulder until he saw the chap being booked was rather lucky to get off. Had I been the chap being given the ticket I might have pointed this out. Then again, when you're in a hole, stop digging....
traffic cops - AR-CoolC
The bloke in the van who was tootling down the hard
shoulder until he saw the chap being booked was rather lucky
to get off. >>

This was the bit of a very serious program that did make me smile. The chap getting the rollocking just gave the camera "that look" is was very Ricky Gervais-esk.

Horrible accident that was, and very well done to the family of the victim to allow the program to air.
traffic cops - Westpig
If you're stuck in a queue of traffic, using your mobile
hardly poses a danger. I thought the reaction of the traffic
cop was OTT in this instance.

I think you'll find he was still 'worked up' at having just dealt with the family who have just lost a 23 year old daughter/sister/girlfriend, which let's face it is understandable........isn't it?
traffic cops - ffidrac {P}
Sat in a car park on Tuesday morning and watched a woman (on phone) try to enter the car park (no barriers just a 'side road' type of entrance).

She was trying to steer with her free hand whilst 'talking' with that same hand!

She needed to reverse out of the entrance - across the road a bit - to line up again.

Finally she managed to 'park' using 4 spaces for her Clio!

Total maddness!!
traffic cops - Kingpin
Tragic programme, young girl sitting in the traffic queue then next minute gone. Could happen to any of us. No phone calls that important to risk distractions - the world used to operate fine in the 70's and 80's before invention of mobiles. You used to just get a message when back in the office or at home.
Talking to the passenger in a car is different as they are aware of the driving conditions and can also link into non verbal language, but on a mobile you are speaking to a disembodied voice so using more of your brain to focus in on the words at the detriment of concentrating on guiding a lump of metal along at 70mph.
I see Bluetooth and such like as just as bad requiring concentration on menus and commands - the fewer the better.
Links into ergonomics, comparing simple switches for lights, wipers, a good radio with large easy to use buttons (Ford 6000CD etc) than fussy dashboards.
Also the argument about passive safety making people feel invincible and driving beyond their capabilities- ABS, airbags, traction control, NCAP 5 star.
A complex subject but it was tragic to see the reality in that programme.
traffic cops - Hamsafar
I still think part of the problem with mobiles is the appaulling sound quality comapred with talking to a person in the car.
I admit years ago trying to use a phone while driving but soon realised it was no use and gave up.
The fact that you have to concentrate to decipher what they're saying so much it makes other tasks get suspended.
If you notice someone not in a car struggling to hear a phone call, they too will stop doing what they're doing whether it's using a cash machine or browsing the shopping isles.
I used to have a good quality Nokia wired handsfree kit that was loud and clear through the speakers of the stereo and you could just talk and hear normally, that didn't affect driving at all. That's why I maintain for me it is not the coversation, but the struggle to have on. In any case I kept calls to a quick, I'll be late etc... didn't discuss other things.
traffic cops - Walton2
I generally agree with what's been said, although I don't think there's much that you can be as pendantic about as some posters have been. Nothing is worth a death, but we'll still drive tomorrow, still expect our groceries to have been delivered by the lorries and the school bus to turn up, rather than never going out of the door again. However, whilst I understand the feelings of the cop, just before he went to the accident he was about to stop a speeder when he answered a call on his radio. By taking his hand off the wheel, holding the button down and tilting his head away from the straight ahead. I wonder how much his attention switched to what he was being told, as he was doing 80, 90, 100? Why don't the police all have hands-free systems?
traffic cops - Simon
I also agree with pretty much everything that has been said but lets not lose sight of the fact that the driver wasn't actually talking on or even holding his phone at the time. In my opinion the fact that he was fiddling with the phone is clearly wrong, he shouldn't have been doing it and he should have been concentrating 100% on his driving. But at the end of the day if he had been fiddling with the radio, or playing with the heater control settings, his concentration would have been distracted in much the same way as pressing the menu buttons on that phone. Does that still make having the phone the reason he crashed and killed someone? Or was it just due to the fact that his concentration happened to be disturbed by the phone this time, rather than something like else such as changing the radio station.

I think we are all guilty of not concentrating as much as we should when we drive but it doesn't have to be mobile phones that are always the thing that distracts us the most. Look at the popularity of sat nav systems these days. If you watch the cars on the motorway in the day time, no end have a TomTom or something similar stuck to the windscreen, often in direct view of the driver which must contribute to a reasonable forward facing blind spot. Now they make you take your eyes off the road, thats why they have a screen with a map displayed, at least talking on a phone doesn't mean you can't watch where you are going. Does that not mean they are just as dangerous as mobile phones?
traffic cops - Mapmaker
One last point, is talking Hands Free really any different to
chatting to a passenger?

No.. Nor even listening to the radio - or even thinking.

I can drive to Tescos when I'm planning to go to B&Q if the radio is good, if I'm on the 'phone or if I am talking to my passenger. But it doesn't make it any more dangerous for the man in the street.
traffic cops - Dalglish
... Does that not mean they are just as dangerous as mobile phones? ..


using sat-nav stuck in front of you on the dash/windscreen may be just as dangerous for all i know, but afaik no research has been done to prove it one way or another. if/when that is proven, the law may be changed and ignored by the public who always know best, as is the case with mobile phones.

however, research on the brain activity while using a phone, and consequences on safety while driving, has been done and can be found in published scientific journals.

traffic cops - Morgie
I too watched the programme and felt saddened by the senseless waste of life. I have a bit of a bee in my bonnet about the total absence of traffic police on the roads of Dorset due, IMHO, to the ludicrous reliance on speed cameras for traffic law enforcement. I commute daily into Bournemouth from Verwood down the A338 dual carriageway, one of the busiest roads in the county and cannot remember the last time I saw a member of Dorset traffic police patrolling it.(Unless there is an accident then they appear in droves). Yet daily I see drivers using hand held mobiles, one this morning negotiating the St Pauls roundabout, very busy at 8am, one handed, yakking away on it oblivious to everything else. These sorts of accidents are going to happen until the powers that be finally wake to the fact that the vast majority of accidents are caused by things such as lack on attention and idiotic driving. Cameras cannot detect or stop these events only a visible police presence can.

traffic cops - Lud
Handheld phone to ear, cigarette being lighted, passenger being shouted at, tape being changed, interesting item on radio (or god help us tv) being listened to, crotch being scratched, roach being retrieved from seat or floor, indeed any foolish or irrelevant distracting action being performed, as a constituent in the architecture of a fatal or otherwise expensive crash or accident, should be taken into account for what it is, and not made a clamour about because it has somehow been worked into the rules.

Just because one person causes a fatal accident while rabbiting on the dog and bone doesn't prove every mother's currant bun or harry porter's going to do it, cock linnet ('innit').
traffic cops - madf
"Just because one person causes a fatal accident while rabbiting on the dog and bone doesn't prove every mother's currant bun or harry porter's going to do it, cock linnet ('innit'). "

No it does not.

I was against mobile phone ban whilst driving - vehemently - because I 100% agree it's a great idea to ban it - \BUT could not see it being enforced.
Unfortunately I was correct.

My view is simple: enforce the laws we have before any new laws are made. If that means tackling the 5-10% of uninsured and untaxed drivers.. I would applaud.

. IF you want to curtail the use of mobile phones in cars /vehicles.. it's VERY simple. If you are involved in an accident (whether or not your fault) and an examination of your mobile phones records (which should be automatic) shows you were on the phone within 30seconds of the accident occurring, you get an automatic £500 fine and 6 points for a first offence in addition and on top of other sentence.
For a second offence. treble the fines and points.
And for a third offence treble again.
Non payers lose their licence and vehicle.

Imo the system would become self policing .

But frankly we have elected muppets who think that passing a law solves a problem (or winning the rights to hold an Olynmpic Games means it can be done on time and on budget..:-((((

traffic cops - sierraman
Comparing phone conversation with conversing with a passenger depends on how it is done-I have followed people who are obviously conversing,obvious because the driver keeps turning to look at the passenger as they speak.I know eye contact is part of communicating but this is something that should be suspended when driving.
traffic cops - doug_523i
I witnessed a crash that was largely caused by conversation. Two young women chatting in a car and looking at each other as they spoke, the car was driving close to the pavement, a motorbike overtook me and as he was about to overtake their car she turned right without indicating, or looking, the biker got clipped and hit a garden wall. The car driver was distraught and was convinced she'd indicated, it was just inattention to driving, no mention of the poor road positioning which had convinced the biker it was safe to pass her.

Fortunately the biker was not badly injured, and learned the hard way that you shouldn't overtake at a junction.
traffic cops - Robbie
My view is simple: enforce the laws we have before any
new laws are made. If that means tackling the 5-10% of
uninsured and untaxed drivers.. I would applaud.

But frankly we have elected muppets who think that passing a
law solves a problem (or winning the rights to hold an
Olynmpic Games means it can be done on time and on


Absolutely. There is little point in introducing laws and draconian punichments if there is little or no chance of them being enforced.

We rarely see a policeman in our village, except when they are are running training days for trainee constables and then we see dozens, but they have no powers to do anything they told me. Yet, every day there are dozens of drivers using their 'phones and speeding. At the village school there are mums in their 4X4s, that they can barely drive, yattering away whilst they attempt to do a three point turn, or reverse into a side road. Yesterday I saw a workman in a pickup trying to reverse whilst in deep conversation on his 'phone.

Shove a policeman on any road junction here and he could make his weeks wages in a couple of hours with the fines that could be collected.

Ask Honest John

Value my car