Mobe-wielding drivers getting away with it
More law breakers, fewer fines
More people than ever are talking on their mobiles while driving, which is strange as the police have been handing out fewer and fewer fines over the last few years.
The number of fines handed out has been dropped steadily over the last few years, despite the fact that roadside surveys claim that more people than ever are driving with a phone clamped to their face - but that should change now that camera operators are allowed to enforce the law to the gain of the Department for Transport.
116,000 fines were handed out during the 2008/9 period, down 30 per cent compared to 2006/7, which is pretty poor when the Department for Transport reckons there's been a 27 per cent increase in the number of people spotted using a mobile phone. Which demonstrates either that the police are incompetent, or that the public has stopped caring about people who want to talk on the phone but don't want to wake the children.
That was the explanation given by Ed Balls, who got a £60 fine and three points for talking when he should have been focusing on the road. But Balls got spotted by a police officer, who often have more important things to do than interrupting MPs' phone calls.
Which is why since September "Local Safety Camera Partnerships" have been empowered to take snaps of drivers on the phone just as they do speeding cars. The partnerships don't get the revenue directly any more - that goes to the Department - but we're confident that next year's figures will show an awful lot more people fined for driving and talking: perhaps even another MP or two. ®
What do you expect?
Labour decimated Traffic Police in favour of cameras. More revenue y'see.
This is also why 60s are becoming 50s. They need the money rolling in.
Safer roads? Not a priority, just money, money, money.
The cops don't give a ****
The anti-moby-while-driving law is a joke. I regularly see rep's, builders, etc driving around with a prat phone welded to the ear (not literally - more's the pity), with cops driving past and studiously ignoring them.
Heck, two weeks ago I got passed by one of Fife Constabulary's "finest" tanking down the m-way with Nokia held to ear. So if the cops are putting the fingers up, is anyone surprised when others do the same?
New government needs to rationalise - LESS laws but BETTER enforced. And not just for mobiles ...
re: apples with apples
"The difference is that police drivers are (a) massively more competent than the average driver and (b) trained to use Airwave and drive at the same time."
Police driver training is not what it used to be, and is not given to every plod in a car. In any case it's not the physical use of the equipment that is the danger, but the distraction caused by thinking about the conversation. The law only targets use of hand-helds because that's what can fairly easily be enforced.
My favourite has to be the tosser trolley (4x4s) drivers around here who steer round blind corners with one hand firmly clamped to their ear. It's a little disconcerting to see a Range Rover/Cayenne/Volvo/Audi/Merc bearing down on you on the wrong side of the road while being driven by an oblivious tiny blonde who could do with a bolster cushion to see over the wheel. The blokes aren't any better.
What about Stroking her Puppies while driving?
I'm sure that wittering on the phone is less hazardous than what I witnessed this morning: lass driving with two puppies on her lap.