Should we have harsher punishment on mobile phone usage whilst driving?
In the UK it has been illegal to use your mobile phone whilst driving since 2003, to ensure road users are driving safely. The same basic law introduced then is still current today. It includes; Cars, Motorcycles, if you’re supervising a learner, at traffic lights or queueing in traffic. In 2017 the consequences doubled from £100 to a £200 fine and penalty points from 3 to 6.
However, it has recently come to light that there may be a loophole in the system. The law specifically states that it is only illegal if an interactive communication is being performed.
51-Year-old Ramsey was pulled over for recording a serious incident on his mobile phone as he drove past in west London. Having been convicted at Magistrates Court, the verdict was overturned at Crown Court and subsequently that decision was upheld by the High Court (HC). This cleared Ramsey of the offence. The HC ruled that the legislation does not prohibit all mobile phone “use” whilst driving, only use related to “calls and other interactive communication”. AutoExpress have covered the rest of the story.
Although this loophole is genuine and isn’t in any way illegal, it doesn’t change the dangers of having contact with a mobile phone whilst driving. The National Safety Council reports 390,000 injuries per year due to mobile phone usage. 3,477 people died in 2015 alone due to this.
We need to make sure everyone is driving safely?
According to National Highway Transportation, having no mobile phone usage will certainly make sure people are driving safely. You are 23 times less likely to crash with your phone out of sight than you would with it in your hand. Choosing not to take advantage of this loophole would seem to be an ethical rather than a legal decision.
Are you among those who are against mobile usage? Or do you have an alternative view? Do you think the legislation needs to be thought out more carefully? Should people become more responsible and make the right decision? Let us know your opinion.
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