Two week Welsh Police campaign sees 1,000 drivers fined for using phone at wheel

Road Safety Wales tells motorists to "switch off before you drive off"

by Simon_MacMichael   November 14, 2012  

driving using mobile phone

Almost 1,000 drivers in Wales were caught illegally using their mobile phone at the wheel during a two-week long campaign last month by police forces across the country. However, reports published earlier this year regarding phone usage by motorists suggests that police across England and Wales are barely scratching the surface of the problem.

Nearly half the 972 motorists fined in last month’s All-Wales Anti-Mobile Phone While Driving were from the Dyfed-Powys Police area, with 242 caught by South Wales Police, 148 by North Wales Police and 128 by Gwent Police.

Susan Storch, chairperson of Road Safety Wales, which co-ordinated the initiative commented: "We all need to take account of how we drive on our roads and driving a vehicle requires us to multi-task so anything above and beyond that needs to wait until we are safely parked up or until our journey has finished," she added.

"While it's saddening to see that so many motorists got caught using a mobile phone whilst driving it has also demonstrated the resolve of all the Road Safety Wales partners in tackling this issue and we will continue to work together to drive home the message that you need to switch off before you drive off."

Inspector Lee Ford of Gwent Police added: "This campaign is just one part of our ongoing effort to target and reduce the number of drivers who risk becoming involved in a serious or fatal collision due to using a mobile phone while driving."

Prior to the campaign, which ran from 8th October to 21st October, being launched, Inspector Ford had said: "The consequences of a momentary lapse in concentration when driving can be devastating to road users and pedestrians.

"As soon as a driver answers a call, looks at their phone to text or read a message, their concentration is affected and as a result, they cannot give their full attention to the road and risk becoming involved in a collision.

"With the greater use of smartphones, drivers need to be aware that it is not just making a call or texting that are distractions, but using a phone to access applications, e-mails or the internet. These actions carry the same danger, hence, the same penalty.

"Remember to switch off before you drive and pick up any missed calls or texts when it is safe and convenient to do so. If you need to use the phone when driving, then stop at the first safe opportunity."

Using a handheld mobile phone while driving – including while stopped in traffic or while waiting at traffic lights – has been illegal since 2003 and is punishable by a fixed penalty of £60 and 3 points on the motorist’s driving licence. Cases that go to court can result in a maximum fine of £1,000 for car drivers and £2,500 for those in charge of larger vehicles such as buses or lorries.

Hands-free kits can be used, although drivers can still be prosecuted for driving without due care and atention should prosecutors determine that they were distracted by the equipment.

As Inspector Ford said, the rise of smartphone usage has also exacerbated the problem – a report commissioned by road safety charity IAM from the Transport Research Laboratory published in March this year found that accessing social networks on the move is more dangerous than driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

At the start of this year, insurer Swiftcover revealed that following a Freedom of Information request, it had found that 171,000 motorists in England and Wales had been fined and had their licences endorsed during the previous 12 months as a result of illegal mobile phone use.

The company added that its own research among drivers suggested that only 3 per cent of those who use their phone behind the wheel were getting caught.

Commenting on that revelation, Katie Shephard of the road safety charity Brake said: “If 171,000 drivers have been caught, perhaps the penalties aren’t high enough.

“There is no call important enough to risk your life or that or another road user. Our message to all drivers is switch off your mobile when behind the wheel.”

You don’t have to spend too long standing at the side of a reasonably buy road watching traffic pass to realise that it’s a message that still isn’t getting through.
 

45 user comments

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If the figures of: 171,000 motorists are caught and fined, and 3% of people are caught, are correct... that means that there are 5.7 million motorists out there who use their phones whilst driving, and are apparently happy to admit it.

I hate people. It's a little bit demoralising that, despite all the public information on the subject, collectively we seem to be entirely incapable of behaving in a sensible way. I include myself in that, but at least I don't drive whilst on the bloody phone.

posted by hoski [65 posts]
15th November 2012 - 12:17

6 Likes

On an afternoon ride last week I saw three within approx 2 miles, I wasn't looking for them, I just happened to see them - pulling out of juntions, etc .... Lord knows how many I catually passed.

As someone who very nearly had a very bad accident a couple of years back at a traffic island with some moron in a pickup truck who decided to cut straight across me whilst chartting on his mobile, I'd like to see this punished pretty severely, drivers seem to think they're entitled to have one hand off the wheel conducting conversations whilst driving a tonne of steel/aluminium around at speed ... £500 fines might teach them different.

... and without being too sexist about this, from my experiences, I find women are by far the worst offenders, sorry, thats just the way I see it ..

Me, Myself and I

posted by phax71 [301 posts]
15th November 2012 - 12:26

4 Likes

Gitpanzer is good.

Even worse than phoning gitpanzerfuhrerin are phoning lorry drivers. A few blitzes by the police in each area would be very welcome. At the very least people could go and buy and connect a £18 hands free headset.

Edgeley

posted by Edgeley [164 posts]
15th November 2012 - 12:58

6 Likes

I agree that driving with a phone in your hand is illegal and dangerous, especially texting or using social media apps which actually require you to concentrate and read the screen, I think Oldridgeback makes a valid point in that if they say it's as dangerous, why not give the same punishment?

I disagree though with the hands free points, driving whilst talking on hands free or Bluetooth is essentially the same as talking to your passenger ad safer than having a conversation with someone in the back as you're not tempted to either turn and look at them or look at them in the mirror. If I want to pick up a call, I press a button on my steering wheel (or on the earpiece of a hands free unit), if I want to make one I can dial using my car's control or a synced address book, as simple as changing radio stations. There are lots of reasons why people talk on the phone while driving (mine are to let my wife know when I'm nearly home so she can get ready or get the dinner on or maybe to let her know I'll be late, we usually have a chat about how the day's gone too, good use of time if you work late) so as long as it's legal (and safe in my opinion), I'll carry on doing it!

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 13:09

5 Likes

sim1515 wrote:

I disagree though with the hands free points, driving whilst talking on hands free or Bluetooth is essentially the same as talking to your passenger ad

In what sense?

Most studies (last time I looked, the only contradictory one was commissioned by a headset manufacturer) show that use of hands free technology affects hazard perception & reaction times more than talking to an in-car passenger.

There's little difference between handheld and hands free in that respect, if I remember the results correctly.

The current Highway Code acknowledges this;

"Using hands-free equipment is also likely to distract your attention from the road. It is far safer not to use any telephone while you are driving or riding - find a safe place to stop first or use the voicemail facility and listen to messages later." (Rule 149)

Personally, I don't take, or make calls whilst driving (or cycling, for that matter).

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [421 posts]
15th November 2012 - 13:21

5 Likes

driving is my "quiet" time where I can just ignore
the damned phone completely ... the rings, the beeps,
the buzzes ... all ignored until I'm home Smile

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [713 posts]
15th November 2012 - 13:29

3 Likes

That's purely my opinion, I can't see a noticeable difference in talking on my Bluetooth hands free to my wife or talking to her if she was in the car, how are the two actually different (apart from her not being there)? There are also quite a few other things likely to distract you from the road, like lighting a cigarette, tuning your radio, talking to passengers but they're acceptable.

As I said, those were my reasons for wanting to talk on the phone, if others want some quiet time that's their decision, I just find it a good use of time when driving home from work.

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 13:46

6 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
I can't see a noticeable difference in talking on my Bluetooth hands free to my wife or talking to her if she was in the car, how are the two actually different (apart from her not being there)?

Another one who likes to overestimate his multitasking skills, you sound like the drink-driver who thinks they're totally in control of their vehicle... before they go through a hedge.

You needn't concern yourself with the facts then (more here, found in seconds).

It's a phone, not a pacemaker. Turn it off.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1963 posts]
15th November 2012 - 13:57

5 Likes

Simon E wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
I can't see a noticeable difference in talking on my Bluetooth hands free to my wife or talking to her if she was in the car, how are the two actually different (apart from her not being there)?

Another one who likes to overestimate his multitasking skills, you sound like the drink-driver who thinks they're totally in control of their vehicle... before they go through a hedge.

You needn't concern yourself with the facts then (more here, found in seconds).

It's a phone, not a pacemaker. Turn it off.


Firstly who are you to judge my multitasking skills, you don't even know me so I don't appreciate the personal attack.

Secondly I normally concern myself with the law, whilst it's legal, I'm allowed to do it.

Thirdly, my point was I couldn't see the difference with talking on hands free an talking to a passenger, neither or your links contained any comparison between the two.

Lastly, again who are you to tell me to turn my phone off, your tone leaves a lot to be desired.

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:07

7 Likes

I've had a quick look an there are people that argue that a passenger is safer as they can point out hazards and there doesn't seem to be much actual proof out there. There is a study by Michigan Uni that studied 36 drivers over 80,000 miles which found that divers were as distracted by passengers as when they were on a phone.

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:23

5 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
That's purely my opinion, I can't see a noticeable difference in talking on my Bluetooth hands free to my wife or talking to her if she was in the car, how are the two actually different (apart from her not being there)?

The researchers suggest that the key is in the cognitive workload involved - with a passenger in the car, that's lessened. Another theory suggests that the passenger in the vehicle reacts to road traffic conditions too, which draws the driver's attention to them, iirc. The difference *is* that she's not there.

You're welcome to your opinion, of course, but the research done so far on the subject doesn't back it up. The current guidance to UK drivers advises you not to do what you're doing too.

Quote:

There are also quite a few other things likely to distract you from the road, like lighting a cigarette, tuning your radio, talking to passengers but they're acceptable.

None are as distracting as holding a conversation with someone who isn't present, as far as I know. There's been comparative research on "hands free" conversation vs conversation with someone in the car - I can't remember any specific comparison with your other examples.

Again, the current Highway Code;

"148
Safe driving and riding needs concentration. Avoid distractions when driving or riding such as;

* loud music (this may mask other sounds)
* trying to read maps
* inserting a cassette or CD or tuning a radio
* arguing with your passengers or other road users
* eating and drinking
* smoking"

So your examples are addressed as things drivers shouldn't be doing either, for the most part.

I don't think it's in the current version, but I'm sure I read some guidance (possibly in an old edition of "Roadcraft") advising drivers not to light a pipe while driving Smile

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [421 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:23

3 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
I've had a quick look an there are people that argue that a passenger is safer as they can point out hazards and there doesn't seem to be much actual proof out there. There is a study by Michigan Uni that studied 36 drivers over 80,000 miles which found that divers were as distracted by passengers as when they were on a phone.

So we shouldn't be doing either, in that case?

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [421 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:25

6 Likes

Shocked by the lack of performance from SWP here, given they police the most heavily populated part of Wales.

Then again, perhaps Dyfed Powys have nothing to do, that's a hell of a lot of empty space to Police.

posted by mattheww385 [45 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:26

4 Likes

That's the thing, it doesn't seem that the research done on the comparisons hasn't yielded any actual evidence, there are opinions on the cognitive loads of talking to someone who isn't there but no evidence as yet.

And for you to say that none of those is as distracting is obviously your opinion (which you're entitled to) but if there are no studies, it can't be based on fact. And I'm not saying that they are all equal, I was giving other examples of distractions which are accepted, I personally find listening to extremely loud music is more distracting than a phone call but that's accepted (again my opinion).

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:30

7 Likes

John_the_Monkey wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
I've had a quick look an there are people that argue that a passenger is safer as they can point out hazards and there doesn't seem to be much actual proof out there. There is a study by Michigan Uni that studied 36 drivers over 80,000 miles which found that divers were as distracted by passengers as when they were on a phone.

So we shouldn't be doing either, in that case?


True, also given all my other given distractions, maybe we should jut drive everywhere in silence, although some people will probably find that distracting too Wink

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:35

9 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
who are you to tell me to turn my phone off, your tone leaves a lot to be desired.

It's an opinion - like yours. Last time I looked I was allowed to have one too. I have no legal power to force you to turn the stupid thing off while doing something more important, which is a shame since you're obviously determined to carry on taking that risk despite the evidence. Thanks a bundle.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1963 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:46

4 Likes

Simon E wrote:
sim1515 wrote:
who are you to tell me to turn my phone off, your tone leaves a lot to be desired.

It's an opinion - like yours. Last time I looked I was allowed to have one too. I have no legal power to force you to turn the stupid thing off while doing something more important, which is a shame since you're obviously determined to carry on taking that risk despite the evidence. Thanks a bundle.

You amuse me, "Turn it off" isn't an opinion, it's an order, I probably would have been ok with a request but that isn't one. I'll stop talking on my phone when everyone else stops talking to their passengers (or it becomes illegal). You're very welcome.

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 14:59

4 Likes

The worst is driving through a construction zone and seeing motorists on their phones.

new-to-cycling's picture

posted by new-to-cycling [47 posts]
15th November 2012 - 15:25

5 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
That's the thing, it doesn't seem that the research done on the comparisons hasn't yielded any actual evidence, there are opinions on the cognitive loads of talking to someone who isn't there but no evidence as yet.

Not quite true - the research has yielded evidence (which shows that "hands free" conversations *are* distracting to an extent that affects hazard perception &c).

What (may) not be there is evidence about how distracting your other examples may be in comparison, and a mechanism by which the distraction is happening/differing.

(Sorry - quick edit - on looking, I think the balance of evidence is slightly in favour of passenger conversations being less distracting (more studies show this). Meta analysis (studies of studies) isn't easy to find, but suggests "as distracting". However, your hands free mobile use is more likely than not to affect your driving adversely, regardless of how other things may affect it.)

Quote:

And for you to say that none of those is as distracting is obviously your opinion (which you're entitled to) but if there are no studies, it can't be based on fact.

So your point is that hands free *is* affecting hazard perception &c significantly, but so (possibly) are other things (some of which the Highway Code advises people not to do too) to a possibly equal degree?

--
"Tant que je respire, j'attaque!"

John_the_Monkey's picture

posted by John_the_Monkey [421 posts]
15th November 2012 - 15:26

5 Likes

Pretty much, from the research, it shows that hazard perception may be impaired if using hands free, also that the same is true when talking to passengers in the car. I'm also saying I think there are a lot of other distractions in the car so it's hard to draw a line. The line that has been drawn is that talking on your phone is illegal, talking on your hands free is not (although advice is to avoid it), talking to passengers is not (although there is evidence to show it can be as distracting as using hands free) and the other distractions aren't either. All of this means I can use my hands free and talk to passengers although now I've been enlightened, I'll try to avoid them both or take extra care when doing it.

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 15:27

3 Likes

Good idea from SimonE - need every motorist to think every cyclist is a plan clothes copper with a camera Crying

Get out and ride

posted by davidtcycle [62 posts]
15th November 2012 - 16:08

3 Likes

Given that enforcing a law against using hands free would be almost unenforceable, and that the law about phoning without hands free could be enforced more forceably, I'd say that complaining about using hands free might be a bit counterproductive.

Better to focus on something that is achievable.

Well done those Welsh police forces.

Edgeley

posted by Edgeley [164 posts]
15th November 2012 - 16:09

4 Likes

"I can't see a noticeable difference in talking on my Bluetooth hands free to my wife or talking to her if she was in the car"

What you can see is irrelevant; studies show it is little different from a handset.

But anyway, talking on the phone is not the same as talking to someone who is present. Just off the top of my head;

They are not in the same place, they do not see or understand the same environment that you do, cannot recognise any potential hazards or moments requiring your extreme concentration; they do not have the benefit of your body language to assess or be alerted to a situation arising.
Conversing with somebody who is not present partly takes your mind away from the immediate situation.

posted by matthewuniverse [17 posts]
15th November 2012 - 18:23

5 Likes

more to the point Wales hasn't been a Principality since about 1542

posted by mills1983 [4 posts]
15th November 2012 - 22:04

5 Likes

matthewuniverse wrote:
"I can't see a noticeable difference in talking on my Bluetooth hands free to my wife or talking to her if she was in the car"

What you can see is irrelevant; studies show it is little different from a handset.

I work in the mobile industry, and pay a fair bit of attention to this sort of thing. What the research shows is that it's not a dexterity issue (or one-armed people wouldn't be allowed to drive). And many cars these days are autos anyway. What it is is as others have said, a cognitive load issue. You can't visualise/process a conversation and road hazards at the same time. Being hands-free makes no difference, and here's why: people in the car with you you can choose to ignore for a few seconds, and they naturally fall quiet as they can see you are doing something tricky like at a junction, changing lanes etc. they generally help to look as well, it's instinctive adult also-a-driver-too behaviour. If they are on the other end of a phone they cannot see what you are having to deal with, and just blather on, while you feel obliged to pay attention. That's the major difference.

I fully expect insurance companies to lead here, with no insurance for people found to be talking on mobiles *hands-free or not* in the event of a crash. That, more than any threat of a fine, might put an end to it.

Also we need much wider awareness of what 3 or 6 points on your licence means: a massive hike in your insurance premiums for the next 3 or 5 years. Several thousands of quid, typically.

I was told there would be Cake. Luckily there's http://TestValleyCC.org.uk

KiwiMike's picture

posted by KiwiMike [494 posts]
15th November 2012 - 22:14

6 Likes

matthewuniverse wrote:
"I can't see a noticeable difference in talking on my Bluetooth hands free to my wife or talking to her if she was in the car"

What you can see is irrelevant; studies show it is little different from a handset.

But anyway, talking on the phone is not the same as talking to someone who is present. Just off the top of my head;

They are not in the same place, they do not see or understand the same environment that you do, cannot recognise any potential hazards or moments requiring your extreme concentration; they do not have the benefit of your body language to assess or be alerted to a situation arising.
Conversing with somebody who is not present partly takes your mind away from the immediate situation.

Firstly, what I can see is very relevant as it's my choice at the moment whether to use the hands free or not.

Secondly the studies you refer to only show the comparison between talking on a phone or using hands free, the sentence of mine that you quoted is clearly comparing talking on hands free to talking to another person in the car.

So, I've reviewed your differences and agree that those are true but have thought up some more:
If you are a cab driver or a parent with passengers in the back, they may not recognise any potential road hazards and/or may not inform you of them.
If you are aware of their body language, it implies that you are paying visual attention to them and not the road, especially if they are in the back of the car.
There is nothing but you in the car to take your eyes off the road, no one changing radio stations/cds, moving around in the back etc.

In those situations, being on hands free would be safer than talking to the passenger in my opinion.

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 23:30

2 Likes

KiwiMike wrote:
matthewuniverse wrote:
"I can't see a noticeable difference in talking on my Bluetooth hands free to my wife or talking to her if she was in the car"

What you can see is irrelevant; studies show it is little different from a handset.

I work in the mobile industry, and pay a fair bit of attention to this sort of thing. What the research shows is that it's not a dexterity issue (or one-armed people wouldn't be allowed to drive). And many cars these days are autos anyway. What it is is as others have said, a cognitive load issue. You can't visualise/process a conversation and road hazards at the same time. Being hands-free makes no difference, and here's why: people in the car with you you can choose to ignore for a few seconds, and they naturally fall quiet as they can see you are doing something tricky like at a junction, changing lanes etc. they generally help to look as well, it's instinctive adult also-a-driver-too behaviour. If they are on the other end of a phone they cannot see what you are having to deal with, and just blather on, while you feel obliged to pay attention. That's the major difference.


I've read some of those articles showing your "major difference" but as far as I can see there is no actual evidence to back this up, there is no study for example that shows that people are less likely to crash when talking to passengers in their car than on hands free in the same conditions, the only study I found on it was the one by Michigan University which concluded that they probably had the same effect. The cognitive load theory is backed up by playing a voice recording of someone talking to them (in one of the studies on the Guardian website last year) but it just states that this has a negative effect on driving which I'll accept as a fact. It does then try to differentiate hands free talking from talking to passengers by giving what seem like the researchers opinion, stating the same thing stuff as you but without any actual evidence to back it up. As I stated earlier, I could also make an argument for it actually being the other way round, but (as I also stated) it's just my opinion.

I think that what Edgeley says is true, it's no illegal and would be very hard to enforce so we should just be glad they're pro-actively trying to stop people breaking the law and helping make the roads a little safer!

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
15th November 2012 - 23:40

4 Likes

@mills1983 Ahem. I'm blaming that building society for ticking that notion in my head...

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8103 posts]
15th November 2012 - 23:47

3 Likes

sim1515 wrote:
matthewuniverse wrote:
"I can't see a noticeable difference in talking on my Bluetooth hands free to my wife or talking to her if she was in the car"

What you can see is irrelevant; studies show it is little different from a handset.

But anyway, talking on the phone is not the same as talking to someone who is present. Just off the top of my head;

They are not in the same place, they do not see or understand the same environment that you do, cannot recognise any potential hazards or moments requiring your extreme concentration; they do not have the benefit of your body language to assess or be alerted to a situation arising.
Conversing with somebody who is not present partly takes your mind away from the immediate situation.

Firstly, what I can see is very relevant as it's my choice at the moment whether to use the hands free or not.

Secondly the studies you refer to only show the comparison between talking on a phone or using hands free, the sentence of mine that you quoted is clearly comparing talking on hands free to talking to another person in the car.

So, I've reviewed your differences and agree that those are true but have thought up some more:
If you are a cab driver or a parent with passengers in the back, they may not recognise any potential road hazards and/or may not inform you of them.
If you are aware of their body language, it implies that you are paying visual attention to them and not the road, especially if they are in the back of the car.
There is nothing but you in the car to take your eyes off the road, no one changing radio stations/cds, moving around in the back etc.

In those situations, being on hands free would be safer than talking to the passenger in my opinion.

It's simple really, you phone before you make your journey. Not difficult really but then again you seem to be the type of individual who will never listen to any body else and so will come up with a very poor argument as to why you should use a hands free kit. As several people have said if in a car talking to passengers they can see what you can hazards etc. also you can ask them to be quiet if required.
Using hands free is no different to actually putting a handset against your ear with the exception of the physicality of the handset. How many people actually keep both hands on the wheel?
I have picked up the pieces of RTC's caused by people on hands free and mobile but never really by talking to passengers. Another point to note is you referred in your original post that it in your mind seemed ok to look in your mirror to talk to passengers in the rear. Are you seriously saying that its ok to take your eyes off the road for any period of time? I bet you spend longer looking in the mirror than you think. Before I get an arsey reply think of this, how far have you travelled at 70mph in 1second? As I am pretty sure if looking in the mirror talking to the rear will take longer than a second.
It's called driving without due care and attention for a reason.

posted by cavmem1 [42 posts]
17th November 2012 - 11:39

4 Likes

cavmem1 wrote:

It's simple really, you phone before you make your journey. Not difficult really but then again you seem to be the type of individual who will never listen to any body else and so will come up with a very poor argument as to why you should use a hands free kit. As several people have said if in a car talking to passengers they can see what you can hazards etc. also you can ask them to be quiet if required. Using hands free is no different to actually putting a handset against your ear with the exception of the physicality of the handset. How many people actually keep both hands on the wheel?

It's also quite simple really that it's legal to use hands free on your journey, as I said, for me it is a good use of time. Another very personal attack on my [good] name, so do you know me as well? I doubt it. I don't need an argument as to why I should use a hands free kit, I have the law, you need a compelling argument for me not to use it, and it's not me you should try and convince, it's the government so they can create legislation to prevent me. I can see that others have given their opinion on why talking to passengers is safer than the hands free, but they are all OPINIONS, no one has offered any proof. If any proof exists, I'm sure a law will be passed (like the law preventing you from using a handset) and I'll stop.

cavmem1 wrote:

I have picked up the pieces of RTC's caused by people on hands free and mobile but never really by talking to passengers.

How do you know you've never encountered an RTC when someone has been talking to a passenger? It's probably not been noted as the cause (when someone talking on the phone has been) but to say that you've never seen one when someone's been talking to a passenger prior to the accident is fairly had to believe. Have their been other causes, such as playing with the radio, reaching for a lighter or something else or have they just been driver error or using a mobile?

cavmem1 wrote:

Another point to note is you referred in your original post that it in your mind seemed ok to look in your mirror to talk to passengers in the rear. Are you seriously saying that its ok to take your eyes off the road for any period of time? I bet you spend longer looking in the mirror than you think. Before I get an arsey reply think of this, how far have you travelled at 70mph in 1second? As I am pretty sure if looking in the mirror talking to the rear will take longer than a second.
It's called driving without due care and attention for a reason.

Firstly I'm not saying I look in the mirror to talk to passengers in the rear, but I have experienced taxi drivers looking at me in their mirror when they're talking to me, have you not?
Secondly, what people have been saying is that talking to someone on the phone is more dangerous as you are having to imagine their facial expressions, body language, reactions to your words. If you're saying that you never look in the mirror, your mind is experiencing the same extra cognitive load that you would get if you're using hands free. Plus, they're in the back so presumably can't see the road as well as you so wouldn't be able to point out hazards either. What's more plausible is that people's eyes flick to see the rear passenger's face for a split second or so, so not a "period of time". I'm not saying that I drive down the road looking in my mirror while talking, but my eyes probably do shift to the mirror every once in a while sub-consciously.
Last, yes, I do look in my mirrors when on the motorway, do you not? I have a quick look so I know pretty much what's behind as well as in front, it makes overtaking much easier! So, again, while I don't drive down the motorway looking in my mirror, I do check my mirrors for a split second or so so I know my surroundings, I'd not consider that driving without due car and attention.
I don't regard this as an arsey reply by the way, I hope you don't either. I've certainly been less personal than you were!

Si

posted by sim1515 [137 posts]
18th November 2012 - 14:36

1 Like