LETTERS – Ignore the mobile phone while driving

With road safety high on the local agenda again and being a regular user of the local rural roads I have travelled thousands of miles to and from work over the years and lost friends and work colleagues as a result of a RTA.

Yes our roads in rural Lincolnshire are not the best and road layouts can be confusing at times, but let’s not forget our own driving standards here.

How many times do I see a driver looking down instead of looking in the direction of travel?

Surely no call or text message is more important than your life or the life of other road users.

Why multi-task when the most important thing is being totally switched on for the one task, driving?

Latest statistics from the Department of Transport indicate that drivers talking on the phone are four times more likely to be in a crash that causes injury, even if using hands-free devices.

  • Distracted drivers have 35 per cent slower reaction times and poorer lane control.
  • Drivers reading and sending text messages are 23 times more likely to crash than an attentive driver.
  • Over the past year, there have been 83 cases where drivers were involved in a fatal accident related to using their mobile devise or being distracted while driving.
  • Also a further 459 drivers were involved in a serious road traffic accident related to mobile phone use and distractions while driving

It’s an offence to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving a motor vehicle under current UK law.

Under the law, driving includes being stationary if the engine is running, including in traffic queues and at traffic lights. The offence carries a fine of up to £1,000 and six penalty points, the fine which can be as much as £2,500 if someone is driving a heavy goods vehicle.

Drivers can be prosecuted for using their hand-held phone for any telecommunication purpose, not just making or receiving calls.

Even if a driver is using a hands-free mobile phone device, they may still be prosecuted if the police consider the driver is being distracted and that it has affected their standard of driving.

So surely the message is clear here? Ignore the mobile phone while driving.

No phone call or text message is more important than your life, your safety, or the lives and the safety of other road users.

Rodney Sadd

Carrington Road, Spalding

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