Ten years ago in 2003 a law was passed making it illegal for a driver to use a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel of a car. Since this law was passed more than one million drivers have been convicted. As of May 2013 the fine for using your mobile behind the wheel was increased from £60 to £90 and three penalty points on your licence.
The threat of a fine however does not seem to be much of a deterrent. Walking around on a normal day it is common to see people using their mobiles whilst driving. Obviously they are all very important people if the call or message really cannot wait.
All too often there are stories in the news about road accidents that have been caused by people driving without due care and attention. The number one reason for these accidents is through the use of mobile phones. You wouldn’t attempt to drive whilst putting a pen to paper, so why is it deemed acceptable to send a text? Okay, so you may be a very important person who has very important business to do so it is imperative that you answer a phone call. But if the call is that important, then surely it would be better to answer it when you have got nothing else to focus on, i.e. DRIVING. A solution has been created however, for those people who simply cannot wait; it’s called a ‘Hands Free’ set.
While enforcing the law is a difficult thing to do because it requires a physical police presence, it is an important aspect of tackling the problem. The threat of a fine and some points on a licence is not enough to stop people risking it.
I personally have never faced this dilemma, as the music in the car when I am driving is so loud that I would not be able to hear my phone ringing. But I do know that I would never attempt to answer my phone whilst driving. A driver using their phone is four times more likely to cause a crash. So next time you are tempted to answer while driving, ask yourself this about the person on the other end of the phone, Is their life more important than yours?