Well my faithful ones, I’m here again to spread the word, and today’s word is…
Now some of you don’t hail from the Great British Isle’s like myself and a few others here at the United Temple of BlackBerry so you might not know the ‘rules of the road’
Here in the UK using a mobile phone whilst driving is forbidden and in my eye’s its forbidden for damn good reasons!
Drivers who use a mobile phone, whether hand-held or hands-free:
- are much less aware of what’s happening on the road around them
- fail to see road signs
- fail to maintain proper lane position and steady speed
- are more likely to ‘tailgate’ the vehicle in front
- react more slowly, take longer to brake and longer to stop
- are more likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic
- feel more stressed and frustrated.
They are also four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing themselves and other people.
Now I know this isn’t aimed at everyone, just the people that think they need to answer a phone while driving… or worse still, text and I bet you are wondering why I have a bee in my bonnet about this?
There are a few reasons…
One would be that last week a woman driving past my son’s school decided to remove my wing mirror with her car because she “Just had to answer the phone in case it was an emergency” Yes as you can guess I wasn’t impressed in the slightest but after a few words about her being outside of a school and there being lots of kids wanting nothing more than to run home and (lets face it) not paying attention, the fact that she has a hands free kit that was in the glove box and not charged and finally if she couldn’t see my HUGE people carrier… I actually let it go because my mirror fixed back on and still works…
The second is within the 7 miles to the school my son counted at least 32 people using a phone during the rush hour period on the other side of the road, endangering me and my children!
The third being that outside my sons school today a child was knocked over by a van driver who was texting someone for a postcode for his satnav… the kid got rushed to hospital and as far as we know is alive thank god, but it could have been a much worse story…
In 2012 583,686 drivers were fined £60 and received three points on their license, more than ten times higher than the 55,300 convictions for drink driving at that time, and the age group of 18-25 that is most likely to use mobile phones whilst driving has seen the biggest rise in traffic deaths.
Department for Transport figures reveal that 378 accidents specifically involving mobile phone use were reported in 2012 — more than any year on record. Those accidents resulted in 548 casualties, including 17 deaths.
But motoring experts say that this figure gives a false impression of the true scale of the problem, as many cases involving phones are classed instead as an “in-vehicle distraction”. In-vehicle distractions led to 9,012 accidents and 196 deaths between 2010 and 2012.
(and this does not include accidents where a phone wasn’t reported as being used but was or accidents like my wing mirror being knocked off!)
When these figures are combined the total number of deaths is 213, only 27 less than are caused by drink driving. And with the current steep decline of drink drive deaths, mobile phone distraction is expected to become the biggest cause of death on the roads by 2015.
So, will driving and talking on the phone cause more deaths than drink driving in the UK this year? how many people do you see in the morning 3 or 4 times over the drink drive limit? compare that to the amount of people you see on the phone! I’m sure I passed a lot less than 32 drunk drivers this morning!
Now, don’t get me wrong here, I know a lot of people need a phone for emergencies, I am one of those people (my son has life threatening epilepsy) I’ve had phone calls I’ve needed to answer BUT I have a hands free kit, a ring tone for my wife and kids who, when they know I’m driving will not ring me unless its an emergency but if I here that ringtone I answer with “I’m driving” if it’s not an emergency, they hang up, job done. I also have an app on my beloved Z10: SafeDrive it’s £2.50 and will read out you emails or text’s when on and while I don’t think it’s as good as DrivesafeLy which I had on my BBOS device, it’s good enough if I am desperate to hear an important email or text that I have been waiting for.
But one of my BIGGEST bug bears is the taxi/van/lorry/truck drivers that use their phones, OK they might need it for work purposes, but they need they’re driving license too AND surely their employer doesn’t want their vehicle destroyed or deliveries held up because of an accident? So why don’t they police this problem too? If you give a driving employee a phone then supply a hands free kit or suffer fines as well as the driver. If it’s supplied and the driver doesn’t use it and is involved in an accident, sack them and shop them, if you do the right thing you don’t deserve punishment!
If you know someone is driving and doesn’t have a hands free kit, please don’t ring them, how would you feel if you heard them having an accident? If the police get involved then you will have to go to court and face the fact you had a part to play in whatever happened. Imagine if that was a child killed, you would be standing in front of the family saying “Yes, I made that phone call that killed your child”. Do you want to do that? I’m betting not.
And don’t think you can get away with “I wasn’t on my phone officer, honest” because as of last year the police in the UK will seize all mobile phones in a road traffic accident if they think it maybe the cause, if there is personal injury or worse, death. They will be able to tell when you were last on the phone, how long for and possibly where you were by GPS location.
I know this may sound like I’m preaching… because I am, I want to see you all back for my next sermon safe and well, you can all help stop this problem, even if you don’t use your phone and drive you will see people do it and unfortunately know people that do it, get them to stop for their safety, your safety, children’s safety… everyone’s safety (yes, even the sheeple! after all, how can we convert dead sheeple?)
I hope I haven’t upset anyone with this weeks sermon, if I have… to be honest… you should only be upset if you have been at the other end of the mobile using driver, otherwise… TUFF!
So, for now…
Reverend Grim is outta here (Bluetooth headset on… yep…were off)