There is a temptation to interpret any legislation around road safety as the latest attempt to “bash the motorist”. That is why there are many who view government proposals to introduce tougher penalties for those who use their mobile phone whilst driving as just that. I do not see it that way.
As the Chief Constable has said, 4 points and even £150 fine is not much in the context of people taking known risks with other people’s lives or well-being.
All drivers know it’s against the law but like you, I’m sure, I see it happening all the time. At traffic lights, in traffic queues, the temptation for the driver in the next car to make a call - or even more ridiculous text - seems irresistible. We know it’s wrong and evidence shows it is dangerous too, often with devastating consequences.
I always tell people the Safe and social driving priority of my police and crime plan is the most important because it’s aimed at saving lives. Everyone gets the ‘safe’ driving bit, so I will explain what I mean by ‘social’ driving
All motorists have a duty to behave responsibly because our roads are shared space. We need to develop a road using culture that demonstrates respect for others and a more sociable approach to driving. Things like less tailgating, letting people out and acknowledging when someone gives way to you.
We know that a sizeable proportion of the road using public do their very best to keep within the law and behave in a safe and sociable way, but it is also apparent that a minority still pose a significant risk by acting selfishly. Sadly our casualty statistics prove this.
It would be nice to think drivers would recognise the risks posed by using a mobile phone while in control of a car and where necessary resist the temptation. Legislation is only necessary for those who do not.
I would like to think it could lead to a change in our driving habits in the way the law on wearing seatbelts has