mobile phone use / driving

  • Picanto's Avatar
    Can anyone tell me for sure : what is the penalty if one is caught on camera texting at wheel : for first time offence, no points on licence and been driving for over 30 years. plus no jokes it was 4 word text to very elderly parents telling arrival time ... fine and points ... or worse ?
  • 19 Replies

  • Best Answer

    Beelzebub's Avatar
    Best Answer
    The fixed penalty is £200 and six points.
  • 98selitb's Avatar
    Sadly not enough. In my opinion, it should be treated exactly like drink driving.
  • Picanto's Avatar
    thanks for your help B - and for the words before on the average speed camera set of 3 . if you are sure about those set of 3 overhead ones in road works set for average 50mph then dunno how you found that out for def but i hope you are right !
  • Loony's Avatar
    Can anyone tell me for sure : what is the penalty if one is caught on camera texting at wheel : for first time offence, no points on licence and been driving for over 30 years. plus no jokes it was 4 word text to very elderly parents telling arrival time ... fine and points ... or worse ?

    Driving and texting certainly is not a joke.
  • Snowball's Avatar
    ..........plus no jokes it was 4 word text to very elderly parents telling arrival time ... fine and points ... or worse ?
    Assume each of the four word had four letters. 16 letters texted at the rate of 1 second per letter. 16 seconds texting.
    Assuming speed to be only 30mph (very likely more) = travelling at 33ft/second = 580 feet. A lot can happen in that 580 feet of little or no concentration on driving.
    What has it got to do with it being a "first time offence"? Or is it "first time caught"? First time can be equally likely to result in innocent people being killed, so there is no justifiable expectation of leniency.
  • chopper jockey's Avatar
    First time can be equally likely to result in innocent people being killed, so there is no justifiable expectation of leniency.

    On the other hand there are hundreds if not thousands of drivers texting all over the place with out killing anyone...
  • alan1302's Avatar
    On the other hand there are hundreds if not thousands of drivers texting all over the place with out killing anyone...

    Lots of people speeding without killing any one...

    Lots of cars with under inflated tyres that have not blown...

    Lots of people badly driving and cutting people up but not being crashed into...
  • Drivingforfun's Avatar
    On the other hand there are hundreds if not thousands of drivers texting all over the place with out killing anyone...

    But for every distracted driver texting there are probably at least one who has to adjust their driving style to compensate for the distracted driver..

    Why should someone have to adapt their driving style so a self entitled person can send a text message??
  • chopper jockey's Avatar
    But for every distracted driver texting there are probably at least one who has to adjust their driving style to compensate for the distracted driver..

    Why should someone have to adapt their driving style so a self entitled person can send a text message??

    How would the "someone" know the texting driver was distracted? Surely every "someone" would still drive as necessary whether the texting driver was distracted or not...
    Ironically, a texting driver will probably hold their phone below their field of view to avoid being seen. If the nanny state did not make it illegal the texting driver could hold the phone up into their field of view and would become less dangerous... Like looking at the sat nav or instruments for example.
  • Drivingforfun's Avatar
    How would the "someone" know the texting driver was distracted? Surely every "someone" would still drive as necessary whether the texting driver was distracted or not...
    Ironically, a texting driver will probably hold their phone below their field of view to avoid being seen. If the nanny state did not make it illegal the texting driver could hold the phone up into their field of view and would become less dangerous... Like looking at the sat nav for example.

    Yes should drive to the conditions. Someone “brake checks” you all you need to do is brake too right. If someone coming the opposite way moves into your lane and tries to crash directly into you can remain perfectly safe by reacting to the conditions and moving out of the way. I don’t see how that justifies their behaviour though..

    In regards to your irony point.. it’s also ironic that if speeding was legal, drivers could focus on their surroundings while doing 150mph rather than be on the look out for speed cameras!! Much safer.

    Not being sarcasitc here merely pointing out the law is there to cater for the lowest common denominator. There are some idiots (and I agree you would have to be an idiot) who could not drive and press numbers on a phone simultaneously. Just as there are people who could not cope with an 80mph limit on motorway..or gun ownership.. law has to cater to these people sadly.
  • Snowball's Avatar
    How would the "someone" know the texting driver was distracted? Surely every "someone" would still drive as necessary whether the texting driver was distracted or not...
    Ironically, a texting driver will probably hold their phone below their field of view to avoid being seen. If the nanny state did not make it illegal the texting driver could hold the phone up into their field of view and would become less dangerous... Like looking at the sat nav or instruments for example.
    I hope this is not implying that texting/using a hand-held mobile phone should be regarded as safe, because it definitely is not. The 'nanny state' observation is irrelevant - after-the-event investigations have proven beyond doubt that using mobile phones whilst driving have many times resulted in accidents causing severe injuries and/or death.
    As for satnavs, routes should be chosen and entered before setting out. Even the manufacturers give onscreen warnings about using them when on the move (apart from voice instructions from the device, and pick glances at it which would consume no more time than using the rear view mirror.
    The over-confident driver, who thinks that he/she is so competent that taboo behaviour can be ignored, is probably among the most dangerous drivers on the road.
  • Santa's Avatar
    This all links in with the other thread about radios. The simple fact is that driving is a complicated business and any distraction is a bad thing. That said, we all learn to cope with a low level of distraction, like passengers for example. The big difference between using a phone and talking to a passenger is that the passenger can also see what is happening around the driver and act accordingly.

    The law is a blunt instrument - first off they ban the use of mobile phones, but then people say "I was only switching it off," so the law becomes No Touching Atall. My satnav can be re-programmed while on the move and my wife sometimes will do just that from the passenger seat. The newer ones can only be reset while stationary. (EU regulation?)

    Whenever a legal line is drawn, there will be many people who say "Ah! But..." Speed limits are a case in point: Why 30 in a built-up area? Why not 35 or 25? Why not have variable limits so that we can go faster in the early hours when there are no pedestrians? Once you start to introduce variables, the whole thing becomes far too complicated - just look at the current laws and ask how many people actually know the limits for all types of vehicle on all types of road.

    We had another thread about autonomous cars. Once these become the norm, then variable speed limits will become easy because computers really like rules and if the limit is 30 at 01:59 and 40 at 02:00 it will not have any problem complying. For a human, there would be doubts about the actual time (my clock is fast?) and misunderstandings about the actual rules (does this apply to vans/lorries/motorbikes?).
  • alan1302's Avatar
    How would the "someone" know the texting driver was distracted? Surely every "someone" would still drive as necessary whether the texting driver was distracted or not...
    Ironically, a texting driver will probably hold their phone below their field of view to avoid being seen. If the nanny state did not make it illegal the texting driver could hold the phone up into their field of view and would become less dangerous... Like looking at the sat nav or instruments for example.

    Reading and reply to a text is nothing like looking at a sat nav or the instruments in the car though.

    Looking at the instruments or sat nav to see the direct is a quick glance. Reading a text needs more concentration and replying with one hand on steering wheel is obviously not safe.

    When driving don't read or send texts...very simple and easy to follow and minimises any risks...so why would you not want to follow it?
  • Dean-Patrick's Avatar
    Lots of people speeding without killing any one...

    Lots of cars with under inflated tyres that have not blown...

    Lots of people badly driving and cutting people up but not being crashed into...

    Likewise there are probably lots of people driving under the influence of drink and drugs who do not get caught. Does this make it safe/acceptable/mean it should be legal?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT.

    Makes me sick when I see someone using their phone behind the wheel. I wouldn't care if they were only risking their own life, let them at it. It's just the fact that one of your parents, siblings, children, friends, significant others etc could be killed by someone just because they couldn't be bothered to wait to send a text.
  • Loony's Avatar
    On the other hand there are hundreds if not thousands of drivers texting all over the place with out killing anyone...

    That does not make it any better or offer a valid argument.

    It’s just pure luck no one gets hurt or killed.

    You only need a factor or a few factors to full into place for there to be a serious incident.

    Removing one of those possible fatal factors ie the phone could be the difference between life or death.
  • Loony's Avatar
    The law is a blunt instrument - first off they ban the use of mobile phones, but then people say "I was only switching it off," so the law becomes No Touching Atall. My satnav can be re-programmed while on the move and my wife sometimes will do just that from the passenger seat. The newer ones can only be reset while stationary. (EU regulation?

    Perhaps because it’s illegal to touch or operate a sat nav while driving they have built that feature into newer models.

    By operate I mean change the settings route etc.
    Not have it on and using it for directions.
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    Perhaps because it’s illegal to touch or operate a sat nav while driving they have built that feature into newer models.

    It isn't illegal in the U.K. It could be evidence of careless driving, or "not in control", but I've not heard of any prosecutions.
  • Mark07's Avatar
    Community Manager
    Sadly not enough. In my opinion, it should be treated exactly like drink driving.

    I have to admit, I didn't know that the punishment for using a phone was £200 & 6 points.

    What should the punishment be? Or, does it simply needs to be better communicated and enforced?

    So often I see people driving with their phone in their hands, so I wonder if the numbers in this report could be soft.

    "25% of drivers across all age groups admit to making or receiving voice calls illegally while driving – a figure which rises to 49% of those aged 17 to 24."

    Thanks,
    Mark.

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