The new road safety law comes into force today as big brother cracks down on drivers using their phones could mean the end of phone selfies, texting and calling people. It’s about time!
Today the law is changing, drivers can no longer have a phone in their hand while driving unless they want to face the wrath of the law. Six points, a £200 fine and for those who have only been driving for two years will have their licence revoked and be forced to re-sit their test.
As for repeat offenders, the fine will be increased to £1,000 plus a six-month driving ban. This new deterrent is being enforced in a bid to end mobile phone usage whilst driving.
There is a record number of people who feel relaxed using their phone while driving. The RAC’s 2016 Motoring Report found that the number of drivers who owned up to using their phone behind the wheel had increased by 23% since 2014. At the same time, texting and social media posts have gone from 7% to 19% in just two years.
These alarming figures show a small percentage of drivers who are willing to admit to the crime, a crime that infringes on the lives of others. And let’s not forget the whole Pokémon Go debacle which saw drivers totalling their cars, saw people crash into trees, into schools and that one person that crashed into a police patrol car. Was Pikachu really worth it?
Hugh Bladon of the Alliance British Drivers, said: “I’m a 100 percent against anyone using their phone while driving, they deserve everything they get.”
The new law has sparked much controversy but why? Is taking a decent selfie, justification for causing an accident?
Personally, I think this new law is genius. I may be young, completely attached to my phone (when I’m not driving) and fall into the two-year driving bracket, however, this law has been necessary for years.
My biggest pet peeve is seeing someone on their phone whilst driving. At the end of the day if they hit someone you’re more than likely going to walk away whereas the innocent bystander will more than likely lose their life.
It’s a selfish option, all for the sake of a cheeky selfie or texting your mate about the what to do at the weekend. Can it not wait for ten minutes?
Now there is the argument of using your phone as a Satnav but it’s something that should be securely placed in the car where you can hear the directions. I’ve always thought the notion of having the phone in your lap ineffective. You are constantly forced into looking down at your lap which clearly doesn’t adhere to the eyes on the road recommendation.
It’s the ignorance and balsa attitude of: “It will never happen to me.” Well, your right it won’t if you’d just put your phone down it definitely won’t. The sheer chance that you could crash, you could die or even worse you could kill someone who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time isn’t worth it. It’s a deadly mistake that could impact your life and the lives of those around you.
Of course some may put their own death before the death of others, however, could you face killing a person and having to see their grieving family? Not to mention the consequences that you will have to endure.
Death by dangerous or careless dying carries a prison sentence of 5-14 years plus monetary penalties. Of course this sentence is grossly inadequate, the punishment does not fit the crime but still prison time is prison time. No freedom, no choice and a strict set of rules isn’t a way to live. The charity Brake found that nine out of ten people want dangerous and careless drivers who caused death to be charged with manslaughter. A greater crime that carries a penalty of up to 20 years imprisonment.
Given the stricter rules which are cracking down on car safety, this could potentially be something raised by MP’s.
As police begin these crackdown drivers lives are about to become much more difficult, so much as having your phone in your hand could end up costing you and not just hitting the bank it could lead to many having their licences revoked. Even using your phone while stationary at the lights is deemed as breaking the law under the new regulations.
One in four of road fatalities in the UK has been down to drivers using their phone while driving the majority of which were caused when people had their phone to their ear. The main age group for such accidents is 18-25 year old’s who have been caught calling, texting, videoing and taking selfie pictures whilst driving.
Head of Damsons Future Planning, Phil De Ste Croix said: “The new law is surely going to hit drivers hard but sadly it’s a necessary precaution. People can’t grasp the severity of driving and using their phone. It’s a deadly distraction and if it takes introducing new laws to stop it, then so be it.”
However, with the number of police cuts due to government savings, the question is whether the police can sufficiently implement the law. Since 2010 cuts have seen reductions in over 15,000 posts and future cuts could see another 100,000 posts being cut by 2020. With police numbers falling and an increase in careless driving via phone usage enforcing this new law could prove difficult.
Despite this police are confident they can implement the law as big brother will now be able to catch unsuspecting drivers who are on their phone. New cameras are set to be installed in a bid to capture drivers on their phones.
As of today, the new law will be put into action but only time will tell whether it will be successful and if road fatalities subside.
Originally Posted On Buzzfeed.