Texting while driving is a cardinal sin punishable with a fine and points on your license. Getting caught by police doing so usually sees an on the spot punishment, but therein lies the problem. Being hard to spot, what can be done to better police this dangerous activity?
31% of motorists admitted to using a mobile phone behind the wheel in 2015, up from 8% the year before. Incidents which have seen families rocked by drivers texting include a 13 year old girl hit by a lorry while walking home from school and a cyclist killed by a van travelling 65mph on a clear road among countless collisions when cars have veered off and impacted other vehicles.
The potential damage that can be caused from not paying attention can be huge. A PSA by the BBC entitled “COW” (full video below) tells a particularly harrowing but realistic situation in which a young female driver travelling with friends collides with an oncoming car, killing her 3 passengers and the other driver.
Driving erratically while using a mobile already has a punishment of a fine and 3 points on a licence (set to double next year). If however a texting driver causes a serious injury or a fatality, charges can escalate to death by dangerous driving, seeing prison sentences of up to 14 years. No text is important enough to risk a life in prison and a death on your conscience.
Speed camera innovation
Monitoring mobile phone use has always been a problem for police due to drivers often looking down at their mobile well below window level from which a car travelling past or behind can tell. The only way to know for certain would be to have an elevated cab as demonstrated in a recent police operation utilising a lorry loaned from Highways England.
That problem could soon be solved with new speed camera technology in development that uses AI to detect mobile phone users. The cameras, using their elevated position, are being tested to identify a mobile phone being used in hand by instantly scanning a passing car and recognising what is happening inside.
The cameras which are being developed by a Chinese company due to be unveiled at the China International Exhibit for Public Safety this week are claimed to be 99% accurate by their creators.
Negligence through distraction
Every driver is expected to keep their focus on the road and be aware of the space around them. Drivers are also expected to look after other road users including cyclists who share the road and pedestrians at the side of the road. Becoming distracted by a mobile phone is a choice made by the driver that endangers themselves and others (and is not acceptable).
Anybody injured by a distracted driver has the right to seek justice for their injuries. You should never be put at risk on the road because somebody else allows a text or phone call to come above your own safety. Scott Rees & Co have plenty of experience with helping our former clients achieve that measure of justice.
If you, a family member or friend has been involved in an incident involving a distracted driver (or any driver who has been careless) and would like advice on legal assistance available then you can seek free, impartial, conscientious advice from one of our team.
You can get in touch either by calling us on 01695 722 222 (lines are open weekdays from 9am to 7pm) or by filling out our online form. We can assess your situation using our years of experience and can give you clear, straightforward information to let you know what options you have available.
We offer a ‘no win no fee’ service for clients which ensures you will not pay a penny if your claim is unsuccessful (however we do pride ourselves on our high success rate). With no risk in starting a claim, call today to see what we can do for you.
- Wikimedia Commons; Wikipedia; https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/72/Hand_held_phone_in_car.JPG
- com, https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-woman-smartphone-car-3056/