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Frank Hovis

Driving penalty for using mobile doubles today

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Though as several of the vox pop on the radio strongly pointed out the lack of police on the roads makes it an empty bit of propaganda.  I spend about three hours on the road each day and the vast majority of days I could spend the whole time with my mobile clamped to my ear and there would be no police to see me; if I drove a lorry (and contrary to popular belief I don't, thank you very much!) then the cab height would make it even less likely.

If I wanted to do it the risk of being caught is so miniscule that I would go right ahead.  As it happens I don't.

I accept btw that it is distracting and hence makes driving more dangerous.

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GF got stopped by a police man, she was messing with the GPS on her phone while moving slowly in traffic.

Every time she complains about it I just make the point that she shouldn't have been using her phone :P

£100 fine and a course iirc. She was trying to book it last night and the nearest place to take it with open appointments is an hour 20 away at best.

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My phone is remotely controlled via the touchscreen on the dashboard when I'm in my car. As I understand it scrolling through contacts and making calls like that is still legal, even though it would be more distracting, if anything. I think I can even read and write text messages via the dashboard interface, not that I've tried.

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My phone connects to the car via bluetooth and is controlled by the steering wheel buttons with the numbers shown in a dash pane between the speedo and tacho. I think it is legal to use that as long as you don't touch the phone itself.

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I thought the dash mounted phone was fine; no difference to using a SatNav.

You're not going to be believed if you're holding a phone and saying it was just for SatNav even if it was.

The police down yer trumpet the people that they catch but the numbers are low and pretty much all from heavily-trailed campaigns where, for about a week a year, they actually take to the roads to try to catch bad driving.

The great goal seems to be making it "as socially unacceptable as drink driving" but this is meaningless guff as you can see from the numbers caught drink driving every Christmas.  Burglary and murder are socially unacceptable but they still happen.

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3 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

I thought the dash mounted phone was fine; no difference to using a SatNav.

You're not going to be believed if you're holding a phone and saying it was just for SatNav even if it was.

The police down yer trumpet the people that they catch but the numbers are low and pretty much all from heavily-trailed campaigns where, for about a week a year, they actually take to the roads to try to catch bad driving.

The great goal seems to be making it "as socially unacceptable as drink driving" but this is meaningless guff as you can see from the numbers caught drink driving every Christmas.  Burglary and murder are socially unacceptable but they still happen.

One would think so but the law is often an ass.

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Everything in the UK is managed by using fear tactics and propaganda, the deterent is the fear of being caught and media propaganda is a lot cheaper and easier than physical enforcement.

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Just as well I've got an MP3 player for the music instead of a phone, although I can imagine having a hard time explaining that to a policeman, not that I'd want to be fiddling with that on the move either (beyond pressing the "next track" button, which I can do without looking).

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5 minutes ago, Riedquat said:

Just as well I've got an MP3 player for the music instead of a phone, although I can imagine having a hard time explaining that to a policeman, not that I'd want to be fiddling with that on the move either (beyond pressing the "next track" button, which I can do without looking).

That's covered by the "without due care and attention" rules as the mobile phone is; it doesn't need separate legislation.

I'll stick to trying to solve my Rubik's Cube as I drive; it's much safer.

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24 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

That's covered by the "without due care and attention" rules as the mobile phone is; it doesn't need separate legislation.

I'll stick to trying to solve my Rubik's Cube as I drive; it's much safer.

That should be okay but don't get caught drinking a can of Guinness (or lemonade, for that matter) as it's now considered to be driving "without due care and attention" even if you're stationary.

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3 minutes ago, Bruce Banner said:

That should be okay but don't get caught drinking a can of Guinness (or lemonade, for that matter) as it's now considered to be driving "without due care and attention" even if you're stationary.

What about a carton of Um-Bongo?

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Well, they clearly think there is a problem.  I'd agree -- far too many people consider driving to be a time where you can do other stuff, whereas there is always the risk that you'll need full attention when its being focused elsewhere.  And, of course, the problem with low-probability events (like ploughing your lorry into stationary vehicles because you're mucking about with the satnav) is that the bad things never happen and you absolutely get away with the bad behaviour, all the time*

The issue with this sort of ultra-reactionary policing is that it'll necessarily affect people who consider themselves to have been okay and will breed quite a bit of resentment.  All the while probably not affecting the behaviour of serial offenders.

*except when you don't.  Whoops, too late.

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Got no problem with it in general (fines not using the phone), but as mentioned the problem here is that you simply don't see enough police on the roads. It's entirely possible that somebody could just once touch their phone in an emergency (still not justified) and then get fined, yet habitual users of phones while driving fall completely under the radar. 

Sort of the same with speeding really, you see people who are quite clearly dangerous from a speed perspective but no Police to stop them. Cameras are pretty pointless because the speeders know where they are. Living in London you never see mobile cameras and so it's basically an invitation to speed wherever you fancy once you know where the cameras are (and yes it's more than possible to speed in London, especially now many boroughs have enforced a blanket 20mph limit). 

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47 minutes ago, gilf said:

the problem here is that you simply don't see enough police on the roads.


We can't have enough police on the roads to deal with this. People need to stop being dicks.

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6 minutes ago, SarahBell said:


We can't have enough police on the roads to deal with this. People need to stop being dicks.

Ah ha! Men then! You evil feminist. I have no problem with taking my black bakelite type 300 telephone on the bus.:huh:

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Just now, MrPin said:

Ah ha! Men then! You evil feminist. I have no problem with taking my black bakelite type 300 telephone on the bus.:huh:

Women can be dicks. They don't need to have one to be one.

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24 minutes ago, SarahBell said:


We can't have enough police on the roads to deal with this. People need to stop being dicks.

What "people" though? 

It's like fly tipping:

  • anybody who is a responsible decent person will not consider throwing their old mattress or fridge into a ditch
  • anybody who would merrily throw their old mattress or fridge into a ditch couldn't care less however much somebody on the radio says "it's a bad thing"

So why bother with the endless propaganda? 

I may be presuming here Sarah but I would guess that you don't chat on your mobile when driving or chuck your old Electrolux besides your allotments.  And nor would I.  But the people who are "dicks" will carry on regardless; it's all just noise to persuade voters that the police / council are doing something when they're really not.

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12 minutes ago, Frank Hovis said:

But the people who are "dicks" will carry on regardless; it's all just noise to persuade voters that the police / council are doing something when they're really not.

Some people always will be, others might be changeable. There is a society-wide problem with taking responsibility, as well as with realising that no matter what there will always be some dicks ("there have always been people dropping litter").

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It doesn't seem to be a popular viewpoint around here but this is yet another reason why I'm looking forward to ubiquitous self driving cars.

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1 hour ago, Riedquat said:

Some people always will be, others might be changeable. There is a society-wide problem with taking responsibility, as well as with realising that no matter what there will always be some dicks ("there have always been people dropping litter").

Back in the 70s it was really common to see people just chucking their rubbish out of the car window as they drove along. There were loads of anti littering ads on the telly and stuff and these days people don't do that anything like as much. I don't know whether the two are connected but, as you say, people can change.

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10 minutes ago, TheBlueCat said:

It doesn't seem to be a popular viewpoint around here but this is yet another reason why I'm looking forward to ubiquitous self driving cars.

My preference is to change idiots to fit the world, not to change the world to fit the idiots.

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Has anyone else here been caught practising a woodwind or brass instrument whist driving?:mellow:

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