The UK Government is proposing to increase the penalty for driving whilst using a mobile phone. There will now be a fine of £60 and three penalty pints will be added to the offenders driving licence. If UK drivers get twelve points on their licence they are banned from driving.
The law has been widely ignored, and people have died as a consequence.
“Research has estimated that more than ten million motorists are ignoring the law. Yet there were only 74,765 prosecutions in 2004 and the figure for 2005-6 is thought to be around 77,000.
Department for Transport statistics show that 13 people were killed and more than 400 injured in crashes involving drivers using hand-held mobile phones in 2005. “
I was recently in the center of my local town of IronBru and I noticed a van driver turning a corner into a main road with one hand on the wheel, and the other holding a mobile to his ear. When he noticed me glaring at him he took his hand off the steering wheel and stuck two fingers up at me.
So we now had a situation in which this numpty was driving around a corner into a main road with one hand holding a mobile and the other making an obscene gesture.
What can you do with such vermin? Clearly they don’t feel any sense of social responsibility, and the only way to get them to observe the law is to cause them pain.
I went to the local police station and told them what I had seen. The first person I spoke to, a young probationer, told me the driver had not committed any offence. An older officer then emerged from a back room and admitted an offence had been committed, but didn’t seem very enthusiastic about doing anything about it.
Perhaps they had a snooker tournament on [I know the police station has a snooker table], perhaps they don’t like to go outside when it is cold. Or, more likely, when the penalty for using a mobile whilst driving was only a £30 fine they didn’t see much point in bothering to enforce the law.