Distraction and Driving
Britain’s roads are pretty crowded places these days. It is not only the 35,000,000 vehicles on the roads, the 1.5 million motor bikes, and innumerable number of cyclists and pedestrians, but also some 4.5 million road signs, and these are just the external distractions and concentration breakers ready to distract you while driving.
Internally, many modern cars have dashboards looking like those in a space shuttle, with touch screens, voice commands, and information read-outs all needing variable amounts of attention and concentration.
Throw into the mix, the modern day smart phone. Some car manufacturers have built in the ability for hands-free conversations over the phone, but it is an area coming under increased scrutiny, as to the levels of concentration needed to safely carry out even a hands-free conversation while driving.
Meanwhile, the realisation that distraction from a hand held phone is unacceptable goes on. Currently a driver caught using the phone is treated with same severity as being caught eating a sandwich whilst driving, or perhaps caught a little over the speed limit for which the penalties are usually having three penalty points on the licence, and a fine of one hundred pounds…. have you been accused of any of these offences? You will often be accused of driving without due care and attention, which is often referred to as ‘careless driving’. Don’t know what to do to protect your licence? Ask the leading UK motoring solicitors Patterson Law Careless Driving Specialists a free advice call and find out how to defend your ability to drive.
In the wake of several high profile, tragic, and fatal accidents proven to be caused by mobile phone use, the laws are to be altered to reflect the gravity of being distracted by it.
Of course, today’s smart phones are not just for conversations, but for many other uses, few of which are compatible to driving. Emails, Gmails, tweets, likes, downloads, uploads, music and mapping, social media networking that some find so addictive, it takes a priority over common sense while driving.
As a deterrent, The Department for Transport has announced that from early in 2017, the penalties for using a hand-held phone will be considerably more severe.
The offence will carry, at its most basic level a fixed penalty, of a fine of two hundred pounds, and a license endorsement of six penalty points. This means that being caught twice using a mobile phone while driving, within a three year period would mean a six month disqualification.
For those drivers who have not had their full license for over two years, it will mean immediate loss of license, and having to retake and pass, both the theory and practical diving tests again.
The idea is to raise the awareness of the dangers, to a similar level as drink-driving, and to make it as socially unacceptable as that, and make one less distraction for drivers today.