David Secker has been banned from driving for 12 months by Norwich Magistrates. He has been given a £150 fine and 14 penalty points. Mr Secker was witnessed by two police officers on the A47 driving at 70mph holding one phone to his ear and the other in his hand. My Secker also had no insurance!
The dangers of driving whilst using a phone are well documented, be it talking or texting. Using two phones at the same time is clearly a very dangerous thing to do and obviously he was distracted as he failed to notice the police approach from behind and pull up alongside him.
My Secker’s solicitor appears to be a twisted man, comparing driving whilst on the phone to eating an apple whilst driving and claims that it isn’t that bad as he wasn’t texting, just reading numbers off the phone, much like reading off a pad. Should you really be reading off a pad whilst driving?
You can watch a short video of what his solicitor had to say at this BBC article.
The dangers of driving whilst on the phone can be read here.
Apparently there are 71 drivers in Croydon that are still driving with more than 12 points on their license. In each case the court has decided that banning the drivers will cause exceptional hardship. One of the drivers has got more than 17 points and been banned 3 times in 4 years.
Driving to me has always been seen as a privilege. You are allowed to get up to 12 points on your license and after that it gets taken away from you. Well that is what is meant to happen. Courts all across the country are letting people who routinely break the laws of the road back on the road. If you depend on your vehicle to live, to earn money or to provide for your family. Then your driving should be squeaky clean, some of these 71 drivers have been caught several times for the same offences, those offences include; speeding, no license, no insurance and using mobile phones.
There is a reason why these drivers have got points, they are breaking laws and rules of the road and they should be banned, have their vehicles seized and crushed!
In 3 days of cycle commuting last week, i saw nearly 10 drivers using there mobile phone whilst being in control of a moving vehicle. This is a real pet hate of mine, and anyone i see doing so is named and shamed on youtube and more than likely the footage is passed onto the Police. What they choose to do with it is up to them. If they are in company vehicles, i will also contact that company and make them aware of their drivers using mobiles whilst driving.
Anyone that has been in control of any vehicle in a metropolis will know that concentration is very important, traffic levels are always changing and cyclist and motorcyclist can appear from ‘no where’ if you aren’t watching your mirrors. Pedestrians will cross as soon as the traffic has stopped. Why do some people think that it is acceptable to drive a motor vehicle whilst holding a mobile phone to ear?
Being in charge of a motor vehicle and holding a mobile phone is against the law in the UK and you can be finned £60 (up to £1000 if taken to court) and 3 points on your license. But with the dropping number of police on the roads the motorists know they can get away with it 99/100 and this isn’t just limited to using mobile phones. Any one that is subscribed to my youtube channel or regularly watches videos from cyclists, they will see that some people behave on the roads in an unacceptable manner.
A study run by the department of psychology at the university of Utah in USA named ‘Fatal Distraction? A Comparison of the Cell Phone Drive and the Drunk Driver’ compares the reaction time of drunk drivers and drivers on the phone whilst in control of the vehicle. In summary:
We used a high-fidelity driving simulator to compare the performance of cell-phone drivers with drivers who were legally intoxicated from ethanol. When drivers were conversing on either a hand-held or hands-free cell-phone, their reactions were sluggish and they attempted to compensate by driving slower and increasing the following distance from the vehicle immediately in front of them. By contrast, when drivers were legally intoxicated they exhibited a more aggressive driving style, following closer to the vehicle immediately in front of them and applying more force while braking. When controlling for driving difficulty and time on task, cell-phone drivers exhibited greater impairment than intoxicated drivers.
A copy of the study can be downloaded from here.
Below are a selection of the drivers on the phone.