A driver of a car is likely to go to prison for several years if they are found to have been using their mobile phone around the time they are involved in a collision, where someone is either killed or seriously injured.
Not only that, but the driver will then have to live with the personal consequences of the resulting tragedy for the rest of their lives.
On a daily basis, I see far too many drivers using their mobiles but do they really understand the risk that they are taking?
Making or receiving a call, sending a text or surfing the Internet while driving is so obviously dangerous to other road users that the penalties for doing it should be more severe than they currently are.
I am aware that the Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has announced that he is considering doubling the punishment to six penalty points but I don’t think even that is a sufficient enough deterrent.
I would suggest that if someone is found to be using their mobile phone while driving on the motorway or anywhere at a speed in excess of 50 mph especially if they are driving an HGV, the punishment should be a minimum of immediate disqualification from driving.
The number of deaths and injuries on the roads are increasing and the police nationally are now going to spend more time investigating whether mobile phone use was a causation factor in road collisions.
Please can I assure anybody who thinks that simply disposing of a mobile phone before the arrival of the police will help cover their tracks, it won’t!
Telephony evidence can be very compelling. In most cases it is very easy to attribute a phone to a particular person.
Also, telephone billing can prove the exact time someone made or received a call or a text and cell-siting will show the location. Many people have become addicted to using their mobile phone and feel they have to react immediately to every ‘buzz’ that it makes, even if they are driving.
That addiction is putting normally law abiding people at risk of breaking the law and of killing or seriously injuring people.
Punishments need to increase and people need to be made more aware that they are at a risk of being detained at Her Majesty’s pleasure and of being guilt ridden for the rest of their lives.