Using a Mobile Phone While Driving (UK)

Hello and hi. Using a mobile phone while driving in the UK is illegal. The same goes for motorcycles. The rules also apply if you are stopped at a traffic light or queueing in traffic. Please know that a “queue” is simply another word for “line”-if you ever meet a British person who says “line” instead of “queue” just know that they are not British-but merely pretending to be. Who does that?

Anyway, penalties for using your phone while driving are pretty harsh. And they should be. If you drive and talk on the phone, you can get an automatic fixed penalty notice if you’re caught using your phone while driving/riding. You will get 3 penalty points on your license and a fine of £100. £100 will buy you 2 cups of coffee here in London Town. I am totally joking…but not far off. But serioulsy, £100=$144USD. But any way you look at it, it is a lot of money.  Lots of people do it, celebs and us mere mortals too. It is a pretty dangerous thing to do. So, don’t.

Thankfully, I don’t have this problem. I mean I have differnt problems, which include getting lost on the daily. I don’t have this problem because I don’t drive in the UK. I love public transportation THAT much. No I don’t. I hate it. But public transportation  is easy, fast and super expensive-but not if you have an Oyster card.  That being said, I do know how to drive and have held a drivers license in both MD and CA. So, yeah for me.

So driving and talking on the phone can cause an accident and a lot worse too. There are other things you should NOT be doing while driving or things which can happen to you as you drive-causing you to crash.  Walk with me as I take you through the list:

  • Spiders. Just glimpsing a spider scuttling about on the dashboard (not to mention one crawling up your arm) is enough to make you crash your vehicle. I hope this never happens to me or you. I mean seriously, I would crash the car and die and then you would not be able to read my blog. That would be bad for everybody involved. For real.

 

Back in 2010, a motorist in Devon who threw a spider out of her car window crashed into a man on a charit bike ride. Yikes. There was another case last year, when a car crashed into a lamp post in Dorset, after the driver became distracted by a spider.  “You need to stop the car and deal with the issue,” says Neil Greig, policy and research director at the Institute of Advanced Motorists. “Continuing to drive with that kind of distraction is a bad idea.” I  mean, duh. If you don’t know this, I kind of feel sorry for you. Greig says opening the window might help to get rid of the spider, but this still diverts the driver’s attention from the road. Really now, just focus on driving.

 

  • Grooming. We all want to look good. I get it. But this is something that should be done at home. It is not uncommon to see motorists applying makeup or brushing their hair while stuck in traffic-but to do so when the vehicle is moving is a pretty bad idea. Some men have even been caught shaving while driving (am guessing without the use of foam or hot towels). In the US, self-grooming behind the wheel is a big enough problem for the road-safety group Decide to Drive to issue advice on how to avoid it. The group recommends getting ready before leaving the house… failing that, it advises drivers to keep items like tweezers, brushes and lipstick off the passenger seat to keep temptation at bay. Yes. Meanwhile, in the UK, there’s no specific offence of self-grooming while in control of a motorised vehicle, but it is covered by laws against careless driving.

 

Driver applying make-up

  • Eye candy. Yes.  A recent survey in Australia suggested that 59.2% of male drivers were distracted by “good-looking women”. Women were less easily swayed, 15.2% reporting the same reaction to attractive men.It’s not just Australians who are affected, says Greig. “It’s definitely an issue, particularly in the summer.” In 1994, a billboard advertisement showing the model Eva Herzigova wearing just a bra, and bearing the message “Hello, boys”, was blamed for causing accidents and slowing down people’s commute to work. Good grief. Greig doesn’t offer a specific solution to this form of distraction, but encourages people to “take their driving seriously”, blanking out imagined pleasures of the flesh whenever possible.

 

Male hitchhiker

  • Emotional Turmoil.  Researchers at Virginia Tech suggest that drivers increase the risk of a crash nearly tenfold when they get behind the wheel “while observably angry, sad, crying, or emotionally agitated”. Duh. In fact, the effect can be as detrimental to road skills as daydreaming, says psychologist Sandi Mann, author of The Upside of Downtime: Why Boredom is Good. “The problem is that you don’t want anything that distracts from the task,” she says. Mann recommends tailoring the music played in the car to ensure there isn’t a “cognitive overload” resulting from songs with too much personal emotional meaning. “You need some upbeat music, just enough to help you concentrate,” she adds. CDs designed specifically for use by drivers and truckers work well, Mann says, as do songs by Queen. So in brief, nothing by Metallica or Taylor Swift. BTW, Taylor Swift just broke up with her latest boyfriend-Calvin Harris.  I expect a new album from her soon. That being said, just be careful when you are driving. That is all.

Cheers

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5 comments

  1. Laura (PA Pict) · June 9, 2016

    Using phones while driving is an epidemic here. When I walk my kids to school in the morning, almost every parent we see behind the wheel is also clutching a phone to their ear. Some are also drinking coffee which means neither hand is properly gripping the steering wheel. It’s awful. A couple of months ago I actually had to call the police because I was side-swiped by a car driven by someone on the phone while I was walking across a pedestrian crossing manned by a crossing guard. It’s ridiculous. What phone call is so important to risk people’s lives over?

    • samdfb1 · June 9, 2016

      Wow. I didn’t know it was that bad-but could have guessed. Wow. Super dangerous. Good that you called the police instead of being cross, cursing and shouting-which is what I would have done. No phone call is that important to risk someone’s life/lives. Plus, on the train I often have to listen to really boring convos-did you take the dog out? What do you want for dinner? Sheesh. Leave a text and save on your minutes. Sorry to vent.

      • Laura (PA Pict) · June 9, 2016

        I only had a bruise but my thought was how much worse it could have been had the driver hit a kid. That’s why I picked up the phone even though I hadn’t memorized the license plate number. The police manned he crossing for a few days afterwards and then everyone went back to driving while on the phone.

      • samdfb1 · June 9, 2016

        While a bruise is bad, it could have been a lot worse. Glad you were not too badly injured. But there are other options available like bluetooth or putting it on speaker phone.

      • Laura (PA Pict) · June 9, 2016

        Absolutely. There’s zero excuse.

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