Drivers to be banned from picking up mobile phones

flowrider

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This is my understanding of the situation:

Before the mobile phone ban, prosecution of drivers holding a mobile phone while driving was based on the generic offences of driving without due care and attention, or dangerous driving, which was sometimes difficult to prove in court.

The legislation that came into force in the late 90s (from memory), made it a specific offence to make or receive calls using a handset that needed to be held 'for any part of the call" (meaning it was illegal to hold the phone to dial a number and then put it down while talking), as well as send or read text messages.

That meant that the police (or the CPS) now only needed to prove that the driver held the phone, and no longer needed to prove that it was distracting or dangerous to do that.

The issue that came to light as mobile phones developed over time, was that there did not seem to be a case against a driver who held the mobile phone, but wasn't actually making or receiving a call or texting (as can be demonstrated from the call log). That meant that using the phone as a camera or a satnav wasn't specifically banned, because there's no legislation forbidding drivers from using a camera while driving (which meant that any prosecution will have to fall back to the generic offence of driving without due care and attention). And, in essence the same applied also to a driver using his phone as a Nintendo game console while driving.

The new law is meant to fix that, by making it a specific offence to use your phone for any purpose other than those specifically permitted.

Again, this is my understanding.
Thanks for this. So I can use my smartphone for satnav and Spotify, and touch it to change routes or music tracks, as long as the phone is in a cradle?
 

AW8

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flowrider,

markjays summary is pretty spot on, however, you may be missing the key theme to this thread. New changes from 2021 may change all that.........making it an offence to touch a phone whilst driving for any reason, ( I suspect the emergency use exemptions will or may still apply)

Anyone who must rely on a mobile phone for navigation might be wise to is to ensure that they have voice commands properly set up & are conversant with all available voice commands

I am still struggling to find the exact & specific new wording of new 2021 legislation.
 

E55BOF

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Jenson Button in a diesel BMW? 🤔

That was on the autoroute in the south of France, I think; the car was the then-new 330d, doing 143 mph (well, the kmh equivalent) and the gendarmes wanted to know how a diesel could possibly go that fast!
 

markjay

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Jenson Button in a diesel BMW? 🤔

That was on the autoroute in the south of France, I think; the car was the then-new 330d, doing 143 mph (well, the kmh equivalent) and the gendarmes wanted to know how a diesel could possibly go that fast!

Thanks, that highlighted the same point, though the particular incident I was thinking about goes way back....... eighties, on nineties at the latest.
 

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Checklist for "true hands free" non vehicle integrated phone & phone based navigation, ( Only IF absolutely needed).

1. Phone & cables not obscuring road/glass vision or impeding safe use of controls.
2. Voice command function phone & app settings checked/suitable.
3. Phone microphone clear of debris (cleaned last night - much improved)
4. Suitable brightness (auto) & audio settings.
6. Research & be familiar with ALL available or needed voice commands
7. Note differences of function between nav app or driving app (e.g. android auto).
8. Make sure phone plugged in or has adequate battery level for journey.
9. Consider sharing route via link to avoid calls asking "where are you? "etc
10. If not required or in any doubt DON'T USE IT !

As prior highlighted...Regardless of any phone use law, drivers must still be driving safely with due car & attention & ideally NOT so distracted as to endanger others.

Keen not to appear self righteous...Many of us will have likely been prior distracted or compromised to some extent by one or more factors before...(e.g music, audio books, chatting, noisy kids, dirty windscreen, tiredness, fatigue, feeling slightly unwell, headache, no glasses, no sunglasses, map reading, ICE & radio controls use, a glass of wine with lunch, attention lapses, mental health, manner of driving, human error etc).

I am still struggling to find the exact & specific new wording of new 2021 legislation.
 
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AW8

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.........I now believe this to be in early stages - draft or other legislation seemingly not yet publicly available.
 
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markjay

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Thanks for this. So I can use my smartphone for satnav and Spotify, and touch it to change routes or music tracks, as long as the phone is in a cradle?

Based on the cases I listed above, it would seem that you can use your phone for anything you like - other than 'interactive communication' - and it matters not if it's in the cradle or not. I.e., even if you hold the phone in your hand, it's not an offence, as long as you are not using it to make or receive calls and are not texting/messaging.

That said, these prosecutions failed because the drivers were charged with the offence of using a mobile phone at the wheel, which, as per the ruling, is only an offence if the driver engages in 'interactive communication'.

The police can still charge drivers with driving without due care and attention or with dangerous driving, though it is back to 'square one' for the police because these offences are costly to prosecute and not always easy to prove in court.
 
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AW8

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Pity they didn't ban hands free as well. There is more than enough evidence that taking a call while driving is a massive distraction. If you have evert travelled with a driver busy talking on the phone, you will know what I mean.

IMO all cars should be fitted with a device that blocks signals while the car is moving!

Depending on other factors.....a brief call hands free at slower motorway speeds in Lane 1 arguably less driving risk than making a frantic call when swapping lanes at higher speeds.....Drivers can also be distracted when having in car conversations with passengers.

Ideally people should drive according to the environment, (inside & outside the cabin).
 
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Rorywquin

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Depending on other factors.....a brief call hands free at slower motorway speeds in Lane 1 arguably less driving risk than making a frantic call when swapping lanes at higher speeds.....Drivers can also be distracted when having in car conversations with passengers.

Ideally people should drive according to the environment, (inside & outside the cabin).

There is more than enough evidence & research proving that a conversation in the car is nothing like the distraction of a phone conversation (hands free or not).

There is no excuse to have a phone conversation while driving no matter what the circumstances are.

If I call a person and they are driving, I refuse to have a conversation and ask them to call me when it is safe.

At my final employer in Australia, it was a dismissible offence to take/make a phone call while driving during the hours that you were paid by them. The youngsters soon learned that they could live without a phone for a couple of hours.
 
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Rorywquin

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I don’t know about other phone manufacturers but on my iPhone you can do a very similar thing: “Do Not Disturb While Driving” that sends the person calling you a text that says you’re driving and you’ll get back to them.
Ditto.

What I meant is that the car should be fitted with some sort of device to stop calls. Even the passengers can wait until they are out of the car.
 

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I totally agree that taking/making a call whilst driving can be distracting. However, it’s like most things in life, the more you do it the less odd it feels. So a company rep doing 30k PA taking/making call after call will chat away effortlessly. A driver taking/making the odd call every few weeks will feel distracted and unnerved.

Same goes for many things for example using the cars sat nav system. The more you use it, the more fluent you become.
Therein lies the issue. Those who regularly chat hands-free or handheld believe themselves to be fully in control, when they're not. They've become blasé about the distractions and possible dangers. Those occasional "essential" calls grow into regular needless calls, with their attention drifting away from their main task of driving. They don't think about it.

My last boss used to be on the phone about half the time he was driving. Even though he'd been doing it for years it was all too obvious to me when I was a passenger that he was severely distracted, no matter the importance of the call. His speed would drop (usually to something nearer the speed limit) and his lane discipline would disappear. It was obvious that he had no concept of what was going on around him and his forward planning turned from feeble to abysmal. It was my refusal to travel with him any more that was part of the reason he became my last boss!
 

knighterrant

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I don’t know about other phone manufacturers but on my iPhone you can do a very similar thing: “Do Not Disturb While Driving” that sends the person calling you a text that says you’re driving and you’ll get back to them.
I suspect that very few people use that facility
 

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There is more than enough evidence & research proving that a conversation in the car is nothing like the distraction of a phone conversation (hands free or not).

I would be interested to any links to studies that prove that interactive passengers do not cause similar distraction..... In my experience in car conversation can sometimes be more distracting than some lawful hands free calls.

I note you have not challenged my comments that suggested error margins can be lessened if the manner of driving is adjusted & more appropriate..........I will park this for now then.
There is no excuse to have a phone conversation while driving no matter what the circumstances are.
Just as well others are not required to be excused for conducting a lawful hands free call.

Individual circumstances should be considered before & during any lawful hands free call.

If I call a person and they are driving, I refuse to have a conversation and ask them to call me when it is safe.
Generally I do the same, however, it may depend on individual circumstances.


At my final employer in Australia, it was a dismissible offence to take/make a phone call while driving during the hours that you were paid by them. The youngsters soon learned that they could live without a phone for a couple of hours.

Youngsters or otherwise,....if all staff were genuinely on board then I don't see any issue.



I could expand more, but sense you might not be open to considering views at variance to yours.
 

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Ditto.

What I meant is that the car should be fitted with some sort of device to stop calls. Even the passengers can wait until they are out of the car.

Wow
 

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