In a recent Herald article Ian Hart suggested that the authorities should start heavily fining, or even banning, people who use their phones while driving.
Unfortunately, Ian, that will not be enough. For many, people using a mobile has become an addiction; if it rings it must be answered immediately, if a text message arrives it must be responded to at once, if a phone call needs to be made it will be, irrespective of whatever the user is doing at the time, even if it places themselves or others at risk.
If you ban someone from driving he or she will almost certainly carry doing so without a licence, knowing that the chances of being caught by the police are very small.
Fining them? Well, fines seem to be set at whatever the offender’s income is, what they can reasonably afford, so no real deterrent there.
So, what is the answer?
Mine has three steps.
Firstly, the immediate confiscation of the vehicle involved for a period of, say three months.
Secondly, the payment of storage charges during that period, say, £10 a day. That would add up to a financial penalty of over £900.
Lastly, weekly attendance at a Mobile Phone Addiction therapy course.
If the storage charges aren’t paid, or the course not attended, then the vehicle gets crushed and sold for scrap. Drastic?
Yes, but no more drastic than losing a loved one, or seeing them maimed for life, just because these very sick people cannot stop using their mobiles when in control of a machine that can kill as surely as a gun or knife.
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