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It's now legal to use a mobile phone whilst driving.


Colin

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I know it isn’t, but the amount of drivers I see daily doing this makes me think it is. They’re so blatant that they either don’t know it’s illegal or don’t care. I suspect the latter. It’s not just cars or unmarked vans either as I see at least one major utility van driver a day blathering away or texting as if they don’t have a care in the world. What’s the point of regulation without enforcement?

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woodchip

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PS it uses GPS so its got Google Maps, Speed direction time and date all on Video

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Brumas

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johndrew. That is a good idea but how could a photograph show motion, for all intents and purposes the driver could be stationary in a car park not breaking the law at al.l Perhaps using a camcorder may be the answer?

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chub_tor

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There are roughly 30 million vehicles on our roads and 140,000 police officers in the UK. Not all of them will be out and about at the same time but the ratio will stay the same. Expecting the police to stop car drivers from making phone calls will not work and as I said earlier the only way to stop this is to make it socially unacceptable by education. Taking pictures and reporting drivers smacks of a police state and sets neighbour against neighbour and that's not the solution either. The campaigns to stop drink driving, wear seat belts, stop smoking etc. were successful by making the public aware of the dangers and effects of their actions and nowadays even children remind their parents not to do any of these things. Phoning when driving will never be stopped completely as the foolish and the reckless will not heed any warnings but it could be drastically reduced by a campaign which makes it socially unacceptable.

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Condom

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I say ban everything and wrap us all up in cotton wool. Would we live longer. Doubt it.

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johndrew

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chub_tor

Using your logic we shouldn't aid the law in dealing with any of those who break the law including burglars, thieves, rapists - the list is long. It is the duty of every law abiding resident to aid the Police in detecting crime and taking the necessary action to deter it. My suggestion may need polishing to ensure it is workable but I doubt it causes a move toward a Police state or sets neighbour against neighbour as only those breaking the law need fear its effect.

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chub_tor

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johndrew

Burglary, theft, rape are felonies or crimes of seriousness and cannot be compared to using a hand held phone while driving which is a misdemeanour more comparable to a speeding offence than to a serious crime. I am sure that we all want our police force to be out catching those committing serious offences than standing by the roadside with cameras trying to spot someone on the phone. And of course it is the duty of all of us to aid the Police in detecting crime, I don't think that I said otherwise but taking photos and reporting drivers on the phone by the general public will get us nowhere. Think of the details that the police have to go into to catch speeding motorists and then proving that if it goes to court and then imagine what happens if you go to a police station with a photo of a driver on the phone and say "I caught this guy, now charge and fine him." It won't work. A different story maybe if we had roadside cameras where every car going past was photographed so that the driver was clearly seen, the license plate registered, the date, the time - that might work but think of the outcry if the police tried to implement it. Sorry but I still say the only way to restrict people using hand held phones in cars is to make it socially unacceptable to do so. It needs friends and family or workmates to say "Don't do that while I am in the car, it's dangerous, I don't feel safe, I won't travel with you again if you are going to answer the phone." Then it will slowly be reduced. Would you go into a car where the driver was drinking or refused to wear a seatbelt? Well once upon a time we all did but then we had campaigns to make us realise how dangerous these practises were and that is what we need for the mobile phone issue.

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Condom

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Whatever happened to the breaker breaker days. Everyone wanted 2 way conversations whilst driving and not a dickie bird was ever mentioned about safety. If I remember corectly it was all about a government reluctant to open up the air frequencies which delayed its acceptance in the UK. Many taxis had 2 way radios as did all police cars and no one complained.

Personally I do not see any great increase in risk of someone speaking on a mobile phone than someone smoking or playing around with the radio or hi fi system.

After mobile phones what will be banned next? Will we not be allowed to listen to our radios or worse still our CD's whilst driving in case we do not hear a police, ambulance or fire brigade siren. Of course all women will need to wear flat shoes when driving as surely wearing high heels is dangerous as well. May as well stay in bed tomorrow as I may get knocked down by a cyclist on the pavement trying to avoid that Police car blocking the cycling lane while he sets up his speeding camera to make more money for his local authority to help pay the legal fees of the lawyers fighting the closure of the local care home.

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johndrew

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chub_tor

You may consider that using a mobile 'phone whilst driving is only "a misdemeanour more comparable to a speeding offence" but either can result in the death or serious injury - and have done so. In the opinion of many, use of a mobile 'phone whilst driving is on a level with drink driving; is this only a minor offence in your opinion?

Your argument smacks, to me, of support for those who break this law rather than a reasonable attempt to enforce it. In your argument you use mention going to a Police station with a photograph demanding action. I never even suggested that course; it is of course possible for a member of the public to take out a private prosecution for this offence by simply obtaining a warrant from the court officer.

You also argued about the introduction of a Police state and then suggest that roadside cameras should photograph every vehicle that passes. Perhaps you need to decide where you stand on this subject as your messages are very mixed.

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chub_tor

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Johndrew

It's not me who considers that using a mobile phone whilst driving is more comparable to a speeding offence it is the law, look it up in the Road Traffic Act yourself. And I agree with you that both can result in death or serious injury. I have never argued that using a mobile while driving should be OK, quite the opposite I would love to see it stamped out, it is dangerous and stupid. My argument is how we can stop people from doing it. The police did not stop the majority from drink driving or driving without using a seat belt - yes they made an example of some they caught - but it was the general public themselves who were educated via TV, Newspaper and media campaigns who eventually recognised the inherent dangers of what they were doing.

I certainly do not support those who break the law for using a mobile while driving, never have suggested it, never will and as for taking out a private prosecution for this offence that is a ludicrous suggestion. The cost of mounting a case in a criminal court with its need for solicitors and barristers is highly unlikely to be undertaken by a member of the general public who happened to photograph a driver on the phone. And I am not even sure if private prosecutions can be taken to a criminal court, I think that they are mainly for civil actions.

Finally if you read what I actually wrote you will see that the suggestion regarding roadside cameras was to show what would be required for the police to enforce a conviction and was actually a case against it rather than for it.

We both want the same thing here and that is to stop drivers from using hand held mobile phones; you want the police to stop it while I want society to stop it.

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johndrew

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chub_tor

"..and as for taking out a private prosecution for this offence that is a ludicrous suggestion."

You appear to have little or no knowledge of the ability of a private individual to take such action. It need cost nothing but some time - the individual would need to appear to prosecute the case unless the CPS chose to take it on. There is no need to have any legal representation in a criminal court either as a prosecutor or defendant. All costs of such a case, other than those adopted voluntarily by the prosecutor - e.g. legal representation, are covered by the state.

For your information link text

The Police require nothing to support any case against the user of a mobile 'phone when driving other than to witness it. Any supporting evidence provided would only add to the weight of the case; there is no need for photographic evidence to get a conviction. The word under oath of a Police officer is sufficient.

In the event a case is taken to court on the word of a member of the public then it may be the character of the individual need be verified besides the evidence being provided under oath. In either case a conviction is likely.

For your information. In the event of a case of speeding, a competent person may visually judge the speed and provide evidence (either in writing or verbally depending on what the court requires) and obtain a conviction based on the estimated speed. A competent person may be a serving or ex-Police officer or any of a number of other professions where such judgement is considered adequate by the court.

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