Roddy Graham's Blog: 12 March 2009 - Phone ban, a must
12 March 2009
Roddy Graham is chairman of the ICFM and commercial director of Leasedrive Velo
With the recent high-profile cases involving the use of mobile phones - hands-free or hand-held - it's a real shame to learn that the Government does not intend to change the current law despite the regular flouting of legislation.
Three points and a fixed penalty does not seem to be any kind of deterrent to the numerous drivers I witness every day chatting away on a hand-held phone, sometimes in the most contorted positions at the wheel. Chiropractors must have a field day, if accident & emergency doesn't get to them first!
Earlier this year I commented on the 21-year-old young woman who was imprisoned for just 21 months for killing a 24-year-old driver whose stationary car was struck at 70mph. The driver who killed her was using her mobile phone while driving in the dark on wet roads, and had sent and received more than 20 texts before the crash.
Amazingly, in her defence, she stated that she felt that there were times when using a hand-held phone while driving was okay and claimed she could send and receive messages without taking her eye off the road!
And then we had the case of Lord Ahmed who was imprisoned for three months after sending and receiving five texts over 18 miles to a journalist two minutes before being involved in an accident, which resulted in the death of a 28-year-old father of two. Note, he was not texting at the time but had been two minutes prior, thus contributing to his careless driving conviction, although the conviction was not related to the crash.
Even users of hands-free devices are not exempt as demonstrated by the recent conviction of a company car director who killed another driver in a crash while she talked on her hands-free mobile.
Our neighbours here in Wokingham, the Transport Research Laboratory, demonstrated last year that talking on a mobile phone can lengthen drivers' reaction times by more than the legal limit of 80mg of alcohol in the bloodstream.
All the evidence points to a total ban and this has just been supported by an Esure survey stating that two-fifths of drivers would support such a move.