Twits twitter while driving
Careful, you'll spill your drink
Almost one in ten UK drivers admit using mobile data services while driving.
Although almost all UK drivers know it is illegal to use their phone while driving some 45 per cent admit to taking calls or texting while behind the wheel. One in nine admit to updating Facebook, twittering or using other mobile web services when they should be concentrating on the road.
A survey from insurance firm esure found dozens of UK drivers tweeting from the road. Messages included this from Richard, a Spurs fan: "I can't believe how bad my spelling was in my last tweet. A testiment to not tweeting whilst driving!"
And the rather needy: “Good luck today Hun! Know you a bit busy n tweetin whilst driving prob illegal but u couldn't send me a HAPPY BIRTHDAY tweet ?x”
esure also drew attention to the success of this video nasty from Gwent Police. There are dozens of versions now available but the original, we think, has racked up nearly 2.5m views.
Just under a third, 29 per cent, of male drivers admit to answering mobile calls while driving compared to 25 per cent of female drivers.
Researchers surveyed 1,000 people online. More here. ®
Should be treated the same as DUI
In South Australia, where I live, on-road mobile phone use IS now treated in the same class as DUI: if you are caught using a non-hands-free mobile phone while driving, it's not just a fine; you automatically lose your licence and your car is impounded. For 3-6 months. This new law was accompanied by an intensive TV education campaign, similar in form (though not as long) as this video. I don't see too many people using mobiles behind the wheel around here any more. UK police, take note.
AC: "Rubbish. What is illegal is to use your mobile without the hands free kit otherwise it is perfectly ok."
Nope. Just because it's not a specific offence doesn't mean you can't be done for driving without due care and attention etc - it's far from "perfectly OK".
Thankfully the "why is it any worse than listening to the radio or talking to a passenger?" argument is not wheeled out as much as it used to be, because it's only the most thick nowadays who don't understand the difference.
The problem is the UK law says it's illegal to use a phone whilst driving, and driving is defined as operating a motor vehicle... So far so good, but operating a motor vehicle also includes when you are sitting stationary.
I never text whilst I'm moving, but I will freely admit to sending texts when I'm stationary in traffic... They're usually something like "Stuck on the f****** again M25 again, I'll be a bit late". I'll also check my texts when sitting at red lights. I'm stationary, the hand brake is on. Sometimes on the M25 the engine is OFF! Where is the danger in that?
It's certainly safer than some of the cars I see driving on the road with kids playing up in the back and the parent who should be driving are spending more time looking over their shoulder than at the road ahead!