IAN HART: Is it time for zero tolerance on the use of phones while driving?

Ian Hart
Ian Hart

Along with the arrival of the festive season comes the annual, nationwide, police blitz on drink driving.

Statistically, it’s apparent that the message has got through – a large number of competent and efficient taxi and private hire companies and the advent of the ‘designated driver’ has seen the conviction rate fall.

All the time December contains Christmas, pubs serve alcohol and people drive cars there will drivers caught, but does the biggest danger on our roads have a 12-month span and not involve a drop of drink?

Much has been made of potential new legislation regarding the use of handheld mobile phones, but anyone reading this column today, please count up in the next seven days how many motorists you see in and around Worthing on their phones while driving.

Texting is equally as dangerous, but again how many times do see people driving whilst clearly sending a text message?

While alcohol clearly impairs the car driver’s faculties, including concentration and reaction time, is mobile phone use every bit as dangerous?

With serious road safety ramifications, perhaps has the time come for zero tolerance when it comes to illegal mobile use in moving vehicles.

If the authorities start heavily fining or even banning offenders, like the drink-drive concept, the message will finally get through.

Ultimately, if that makes our roads safer, then it can only be viewed as a positive step.

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