Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 12°C

Search

The pigs have arrived. See the latest

Pigs Gone Wild

news here.

Blog: Message is simple – don’t text and drive

11:04 14 February 2016

The simple, but hard-hitting, warning not to text and drive.

The simple, but hard-hitting, warning not to text and drive.

supplied

Sometimes it’s the simplest things that really get the message across.

With the government currently undertaking a public consultation to consider tougher penalties for motorists who use a mobile phone while driving, I came across this rather poignant advert from Volkswagen which, in just over seven words, says it all when it comes to the dangers of texting and driving.

The ad has actually been around a couple of years but but, if it was ever used in this country, it had passed me by.

Any use of a mobile phone, even on hands-free is said to affect your concentration when it comes to driving, but I have a fear of people texting or reading messages on their mobile phones while at the wheel.

We’ve all seen them, especially in slow-moving queues of traffic and jams. They’re the ones who are looking down at their laps, thinking no one will notice what they are doing.

A couple of weeks ago I had the driver behind me constantly looking down at their phone in a stop-start line of traffic and a couple of times they came a little too close for comfort to my back bumper. And only this week I had to hoot at the car in front after the rest of the traffic moved off at the traffic lights and was a good 25 metres ahead and the driver was still, I assume, reading a text message and oblivious they were holding everyone up.

Unfortunately many drivers are unaware of and flout the existing rules regarding mobile phones and driving, putting themselves and others at significant risk.

A recent YouGov survey, commissioned by legal firm Simpson Millar LLP, found that 89% of British adults recognise that there is a penalty for using a mobile phone at the wheel, but just under half (47%) know it. It is illegal to use any hand-held mobile device while driving – 
even when the car is stationary in traffic. Motorists currently face three penalty points on their driving licence and a £100 fine.

Many motorists still dispute the law with 18% of those who have used social media at the wheel agreeing that they can check or update social media and drive safely at the same time. A staggering 46% of them believe accessing social media does not cause a problem if stationary in traffic. And 8% admit to using social media behind the wheel – 26% of those admit the desire to keep in touch with people was one of the main reasons they flouted the law. Meanwhile, one in six has made or accepted a call on a mobile phone without driving without a hands-free kit.

Shaun Helman, head of transport psychology at the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), said: “Any task that involves holding a device, looking at it, and interacting with it during driving will adversely affect driving performance. We recently found that between 10 to 30% of road accidents in the EU are at least partly caused by distraction, and social media is an increasing risk in this area.

“Obviously some people, some of the time, value their social connectivity more than they value their safety and the safety of others. It is this perspective that should be targeted.”

If the latest government plans are approved, offending motorists will face four penalty points (six points for HGV drivers) and a £150 fine. Most first-time offenders will still be offered driver awareness courses to change their behaviour.

Have you been in an accident or had a near-miss as a result of someone using a mobile phone. Email motoring@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Laura Pearman and Elise Augier from Martin & Co with Jack Nicholl and Paul Seymour of pigs gone wild welcome Trotter Pig back after he returns from Hogspital. Pictured with some young pig fans.

Trotters Pig returned to the Pigs Gone Wild trail in Ipswich this lunchtime after being damaged earlier this month.

Customer spared jail

A man who told a building society cashier to hand over money while pointing what turned out to be a rolled newspaper under his coat at her has been given a suspended prison sentence for what was described as “a joke that hideously backfired.”

Robber hunted

A robber who held-up an Ipswich taxi driver at knifepoint early this morning is being hunted by police.

Police are investigating

Police have been called to Thurston Road near Bury St Edmunds this evening after a bull escaped its field and onto the road.

The Milburn Centre Syndicate at the West Suffolk College in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk have scooped £1 million pounds in the National Lottery. Some of the lucky winners received their cheque at Ickworth Hall Hotel, Suffolk.  Picture by: Jason Mitchell

A syndicate of 20 West Suffolk College staff are celebrating their Lotto Millionaire Raffle win.

The Chinese restaurant fire in Halstead - image from Essex County Fire and Rescue

Firefighters were called to a blaze that broke out at a Chinese restaurant in High Street, Halstead, this afternoon.

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

A north Essex man has been charged with grievous bodily harm after an Ipswich father-of-three was seriously hurt during a night out.

Updated GVs of the Apex in Bury St Edmunds.

A popular Bury St Edmunds music venue could save the taxpayer £150,000 a year by raising ticket prices an average of just £2.

Members of Fresh Aspirations, Lyall Stockman and Mia Pascoe, hold some of the Sizzle Crew they will be taking to events around the county

Young entrepreneurs have used their marketing talents to create a team of fun-loving characters promoting a Suffolk festival.

The main terminal building at Stansted Airport

A fugitive brothel madam who went on the run for seven years abroad before being caught at Stansted Airport is behind bars.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24