Monday 28 May 2018

ET... Don't Phone Home

Don't phone while driving... sounds easy doesn't it?  Car moving, phone down.  As Aleksandr Orlov would say "Simples".  Or is it?

Driving implies moving but it is just as illegal, just as unwise and carries exactly the same penalties if you use the phone whilst stationary at traffic lights, in a line of traffic or stopped at the side of the road (unless parked with the engine off).  There is no correlation between driving and moving; you can be driving and be stationary at the same time.  That's what the law is and using your phone whilst driving is breaking the law. 

It's also unwise.  If you ring someone and they are busy, they'll most likely ring you back.  What do you then do?  Answer the phone or try ringing them back?  Ok, take the easy option and text them.  What happens then?  They text you back even if it's just to say 'OK' and you will be tempted to look at it on the move.  It's only a short message, it won't take long to look at.  Oh, hang on, it's longer than I expected.  Could I pop into the shop and get some...?  You see, if we initiate a conversation we have no idea how long that conversation may take.  Isn't it better not to start the conversation in the first place?

Learning to drive?  You know not to use your phone.  That's great but did you know that the person supervising you is subject to the same law as you, the driver?  That means that if they use their phone while you are driving, moving or not, they are breaking the law and the penalties for them are the same as if they were driving.  So no texting, ringing, surfing or playing angry birds for them while you are driving.  Incidentally, they also cannot be over the drink/drive limit or asleep...

If one of your passengers either takes a photo which requires you to pose or decides to show you a meme, video, photo or post whilst you are driving it would be very unwise and I suspect the police would take a very dim view in the event of any resulting driving incident.

Finally, although it is legal to use a hands-free mobile phone it has to be completely hands-free requiring little or no manual intervention by the driver.  You must remain completely in control of the vehicle at all times.  I'm not sure that reading or initiating texts or anything else would allow such a level of control and even initiating a call might not.  To be honest, I would avoid making any calls from the vehicle unless it could be initiated legally before starting the journey or during it.  Receiving calls is the least dangerous but be careful not to be distracted by the contents of the call.  Texts and any other electronic communication I would ignore.

Above all, stay safe out there.  Concentrate on the road and driving.  Cars are cheap, lives are not.

1 comment:

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