Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Graham Hurdle's blog: 23 April 2013 - Call time on mobile phones in vehicles
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Graham Hurdle's blog: 23 April 2013 - Call time on mobile phones in vehicles

Date: 23 April 2013

Graham Hurdle is managing director of E-Training World

A week doesn't seem to pass without another article appearing in the press about using mobile phones whilst driving. Statistics regarding the level of non-hands-free use, including texting and visiting social networking sites, consistently show the scale of the problem we have in the UK.

The idea has been mooted by a senior police officer for drivers to face six points, as opposed to three, if caught flouting mobile phone laws - effectively creating a 'two strikes

and you're banned' culture. But realistically there doesn't seem to be anything on the horizon that suggests the use of mobile devices will be banned from vehicles altogether.

The problem, I believe, lies in the potential for this issue to become a serious problem to any Government that attempts to pass it as law. After all, what is classed as a mobile device, and who should be exempt?

Most people would accept that the emergency services need communication while on the move. But does that also mean that the breakdown services, rescuing a family stranded on the hard shoulder of a motorway should also be able to use devices to speed up their passage to reach such vulnerable people?

And what about taxi firms? Delivery companies? Ultimately, it's going to be very hard to define who is exempt and who isn't, which is why I believe a blanket ban is unlikely.

We are, however, seeing signs of more companies grasping the nettle and implementing their own blanket bans - making it company policy that mobile phones, hands-free or otherwise, cannot be used when driving. In some cases it's a disciplinary offence if you break the rules.

To my mind, the corporate sector should lead the way on this issue with more companies stopping the practice altogether.

The more that make a point of saying they no longer accept mobile phone usage, the quicker it will become culturally unacceptable - and then it will begin to police itself, a bit like smoking.

Imagine if a colleague lit a cigarette in the office - they'd be immediately told by everyone around them to stop.

The same needs to happen with mobile phones whereby we have a scenario of someone talking to their colleague and asking 'Are you driving at the moment?', and not only ending the call but making the driver feel embarrassed, awkward and ashamed by their actions. They would soon stop.

So, my question to companies operating fleets is:?What are you waiting for? Please act now and implement a blanket ban and play your part in making this activity unacceptable, rather than wait for the law to change.