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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 16:22 
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You may know that I am implacably opposed to doing anything distracting whilst driving including use of mobile phones. Many on here can't see any problem and from this, they appear to be right.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-23631406

I am a bit concerned at the man from ROSPA who appears to be saying the opposite. Doesn't he rely on evidence rather than opinion?

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 21:55 
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I agree with you, Malcolm, but I've always thought there was something of a lack of firm evidence that mobile phone use did lead to disproportionate accident involvement. After all, it's still very widespread but there hasn't been any kind of upturn in casualty figures.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 23:44 
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While i agree, that if you see someone in front of you driving erratically, there is a small chance they have a mobile in their hand, there is an even greater chance they don't have one in hand and they are driving badly as a matter of course.

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My views do not represent Safespeed but those of a driver who has driven for 39 yrs, in all conditions, at all times of the day & night on every type of road and covered well over a million miles, so knows a bit about what makes for safety on the road,what is really dangerous and needs to be observed when driving and quite frankly, the speedo is way down on my list of things to observe to negotiate Britain's roads safely, but I don't expect some fool who sits behind a desk all day to appreciate that.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 10:01 
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I think a careful read of the report would be required.

One of the problems may well be that the total casualty count has been observed agains the figures for mobile telephone use.

While multiple measures to reduce casualties are taken some may work and some may not. If there are one or more casualty reduction measures actively reducing casualties while casualties that are contributed by the use of mobile telephones are increasing there may well be no change or a reduction in the total casualty count.

I can't see anything in the reporting that indicates specific causations have been examined but that may be my comprehension of the reporting or of course, as usual, reporters omit uninteresting but significant detail.

I'm sure the researchers have taken my concerns into account but has the report been properly and accurately reported, I would say the reports are not fully reflective of the analysis.

On another note, contrary to the observations above by graball, in almost every case of erratic driving I observe a mobile telephone is in use. Perhaps the data set I have come across is simply a different set to that observed by others.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 10, 2013 22:35 
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Yeah, I'm only giving it a "cautious" welcome too. As it happens, mobile hand-held use whilst driving isn't one of my many peccadillos, but I've long felt that there's more to it than the simple, binary, "safe / dangerous" the authorities would have us believe. On the face of it, 8 million is a pretty good statistical sample. The authors say that they're wondering if traffic conditions might also have eased after 21.00, when the calls get cheap. I guess they could maybe put up with a smaller sample size but just consider a narrower "slice" of data from (say 20.50 to 21.00 and on from 21.00 to 21.10) just to try and cut out the effects of road conditions?


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 11, 2013 00:34 
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"Mobile Phones. Was I Wrong?"

Answer: No! You're right Malcolm.

Don't use one when driving. If someone gets caught with one stuck in their ear I hope they get banned!!! :x

Work out a hands-free situation if you think either you or your calls are just sooo incredibly more important than driving that you find it simply impossible to pull over where safe within some desperate 'golden hour'.

Instead, why not take a safer option where you can take that 0.0000001% chance that it is something vital that you simply MUST respond to right there-and-then!

(Waits for someone to say "well one time I was driving and I didn't have a hands-free because I couldn't afford £5 to get a hands-free set and I was on a motorway where I simply couldn't pull over and as it happened it was about how if I didn't get to my mother in the next 10 minutes she'd die and I'd not get to say goodbye and tell her I love her and then I'd spend the rest of my life wracked with guilt!)

Here's the news: Likely as not, taking THAT call, right there-and-then is not more important than concentrating on driving until you can use an alternative better safe or safer way.

End of! (As far as I'm concerned).

:soapbox:

Edited. It looked like I was accusing you Malcolm, when I believe we're of the same opinion over this :)

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PostPosted: Tue Aug 13, 2013 11:41 
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Probably not.
I feel that the penalty for improper mobile phone use is correct.
I feel that the penalty for texting needs to be upped though!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 11:56 
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To add, the driving environment in the US is very different to that in the UK, very few pedestrians on the roads, mostly straight roads on town, very few roundabouts, automatic cars.

Still my friend managed to mount a kerb once though whilst on a mobile and they vowed never to use one again whilst driving.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 23:22 
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Using a mobile while driving is not automatically dangerous, at times it can be done perfectly safely.

Most drivers know when they can safely use one and when it would be dangerous. They also recognise which activity takes priority.

The tiny number who can't simply aren't enough to show up on statistics.


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PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2013 23:53 
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'Common sense mode on..'

IF I were a traf pol I would view someone like me, who on a traffic congested M6 and picks up my mob to report back to base where I am and why I'm late and explain that absolutely NOTHING is moving, very differently to someone driving/moving - but the law is a blunt instrument.

'Common sense mode off..'

He is, I would be classed, nonetheless a nutter so he/she/I should be prosecuted.

Therein lies the very fundamental problem with the 'speed kills' argument...

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You will be branded a threat to society by going over a speed limit where it is safe to do so, and suffer the consequences of your actions in a way criminals do not, more so than someone who is a real threat to our society.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 09:43 
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For ref :
BBC News wrote:
9 August 2013 Last updated at 15:18
Mobile phone drivers 'not linked' to accident figures
[Photo :] woman on phone
[Tag line:]Using a mobile phone while driving was banned in the UK in 2003.

Researchers have found no link between the number of US drivers making phone calls while on the road and the number of accidents recorded.
A team at Carnegie Mellon University and the London School of Economics analysed more than eight million incidents of car crashes and all fatalities on roads in eight US states.
They examined data before and after 9pm local time over a three-year period.
However they say their results do not include texting or internet browsing.
The timeslot was chosen because during the period studied (2002 - 2005) many American mobile phone operators offered free calls after 9pm during the week.
Prof Saurabh Bhargava from Carnegie and Dr Vikram Pathania from the LSE found that while there was an increase in callers using multiple phone masts after 9pm, there was no corresponding increase in the number of road accidents.

Dr Pathania told the BBC they were "very surprised" by the results.
"At first we thought the numbers were wrong. We went back and checked everything - but there was nothing going on at all," he said.
"We just know that we saw a big jump in cellphone use and there was no impact on the crash rate."

Further work
Dr Pathania added that the findings, published in the American Economic Journal, came with a number of caveats.
Continue reading the main story
“Start Quote
At first we thought the numbers were wrong. We went back and checked everything - but there was nothing going on at all”

Dr Vikram Pathania
"We were only looking at talking, not texting or internet use. And it may be that the traffic conditions on the road at that time [9pm] are such that moderate use of cellphones does not present a hazard."
Further research should focus on smartphone use, and also overall phone use among different driver demographics, Dr Pathania added.
"It may look different if you focus on young males or new drivers," he said.
"Rash drivers will always find a way to distract themselves."

UK ban
With the exception of calls to the emergency services, using a mobile phone while driving was officially banned in the UK in 2003.
The Highway Code states that while hands-free sets are legal, drivers can still face penalties starting with three licence points and a £60 fine "if the police think you're distracted".
"Using a phone at the wheel increases the risk of a crash by four times," said Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
"Sadly, despite legislation which makes it illegal to do so, many people still use a mobile phone whilst driving."

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 14:11 
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Big Tone wrote:
IF I were a traf pol I would view someone like me, who on a traffic congested M6 and picks up my mob to report back to base where I am and why I'm late and explain that absolutely NOTHING is moving, very differently to someone driving/moving - but the law is a blunt instrument.


Funnily enough, I think mobile phone use whilst stationary is possibly the more potentially dangerous thing to do.

I quite often see drivers having picked their phone up and been browsing it, look up to find the queue in front has moved on, then throw the phone down and WITHOUT LOOKING PROPERLY pull away sharply, or even pull sharply the lane next to them again WITHOUT LOOKING OR INDICATING.

Generally because somebody behind has honked the twat.

I've even seen distracted drivers jump late amber or red lights; the thinking behind that I figure is that "well the light was green when I was pissing around with my phone so I could of gone through it, so I'm going through it anyway".

All this behaviour is more often than not done at speed and without the necessary observations, checks or indications, very often done whilst still holding the phone trying to put it down, or worst, putting it between their legs, or still trying to use it, changing gear with their left hand whilst their right hand holds the phone to their ear (look mum, no hands).

Putting it between their legs, let's analyse that. What's the first thing such a driver who needs to stop sharply is going to think about and attempt to do? Stopping their mobile phone shooting off their lap right?

So no, I don't agree with mobile phone us AT all whilst you are responsible for the control of a vehicle, other then the legal circumstance of needing to make a 999 call.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 14:15 
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Homer wrote:
Using a mobile while driving is not automatically dangerous, at times it can be done perfectly safely.


Utter utter b****ks, a driver using a mobile phone immediatly cripples their ability to control the vehicle in relation to their ability to control it without using the phone.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 15:43 
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weepej wrote:
Homer wrote:
Using a mobile while driving is not automatically dangerous, at times it can be done perfectly safely.


Utter utter b****ks, a driver using a mobile phone immediatly cripples their ability to control the vehicle in relation to their ability to control it without using the phone.


No, Homer is right. You are distorting and exaggerating the situation, and that helps nobody.

Use of a mobile phone by a driver does not automatically 'cripple' his ability to control the vehicle safely. I would agree that drivers need to confine their mobile phone usage to situations where it can be done without detriment to safe driving, but so long as we do that, I don't see that a major problem is being created.

If I use my mobile phone while driving, I make sure that it is only done at times when the driving task is not too demanding, and I confine myself to brief and simple communications, and don't get involved with lengthy conversations involving complex issues or arguments and conflicts.

The sort of thing I certainly would not do includes anything to do with text messages, or internet browsing etc. That sort of thing really is asking for trouble in my view, and I certainly would not attempt to do that.

As far as I'm concerned there was no need for the law-makers to intervene in the way they have with driving/mobile phone usage, but they have done it and I think they've made a mess of it. As things stand I don't think it deserves respect and compliance.

Best wishes all,
Dave.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 16:25 
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TripleS wrote:
If I use my mobile phone while driving



How stupid are you?

Simply using it put you in a situation where you clearly aren't in proper control of the vehicle, you've only got one hand free for a start.

If something happens and the police check your phone records you'll go down as using a mobile whilst driving.

If something happens WHILST you're using you mobile, well, you'll be in quite a lot of trouble.

Seriously, stop using the phone whilst driving, it's a f*****g stupid thing to do all round!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 18:17 
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weepej wrote:
TripleS wrote:
If I use my mobile phone while driving



How stupid are you?

Simply using it put you in a situation where you clearly aren't in proper control of the vehicle, you've only got one hand free for a start.

If something happens and the police check your phone records you'll go down as using a mobile whilst driving.

If something happens WHILST you're using you mobile, well, you'll be in quite a lot of trouble.

Seriously, stop using the phone whilst driving, it's a f*****g stupid thing to do all round!


Oh do stop being such a rude and tiresome little twerp. Read (and try to understand) what I posted.


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 18:36 
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TripleS wrote:
Oh do stop being such a rude and tiresome little twerp. Read (and try to understand) what I posted.


I understand all right! You choose to use your phone whilst driving, and I think you're an idiot for doing so!


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 22:16 
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weepej wrote:
TripleS wrote:
Oh do stop being such a rude and tiresome little twerp. Read (and try to understand) what I posted.


I understand all right! You choose to use your phone whilst driving, and I think you're an idiot for doing so!

Please don't condemn other posters. Everyone has always a right to their opinion and can say what they think.

This as with many topics here can be highly emotive but we are all here to understand and discuss these topics frankly and openly. Please do this in a constructive manner. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 22:29 
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weepej wrote:
To add, the driving environment in the US is very different to that in the UK, very few pedestrians on the roads, mostly straight roads on town, very few roundabouts, automatic cars.


While that is undoubtedly true, I don't think any of the users in the study changed country after 9.00...


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PostPosted: Sat Aug 31, 2013 22:36 
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TripleS wrote:
No, Homer is right. You are distorting and exaggerating the situation, and that helps nobody.

Use of a mobile phone by a driver does not automatically 'cripple' his ability to control the vehicle safely. I would agree that drivers need to confine their mobile phone usage to situations where it can be done without detriment to safe driving, but so long as we do that, I don't see that a major problem is being created.

If I use my mobile phone while driving, I make sure that it is only done at times when the driving task is not too demanding, and I confine myself to brief and simple communications, and don't get involved with lengthy conversations involving complex issues or arguments and conflicts.

The sort of thing I certainly would not do includes anything to do with text messages, or internet browsing etc. That sort of thing really is asking for trouble in my view, and I certainly would not attempt to do that.

As far as I'm concerned there was no need for the law-makers to intervene in the way they have with driving/mobile phone usage, but they have done it and I think they've made a mess of it. As things stand I don't think it deserves respect and compliance.

Best wishes all,
Dave.


Quite! There are plenty of things (like changing gear, altering sat-navs and car radio / CD player) that require the removal of one hand from the wheel. That's not the answer. The whole "using a mobile when driving is automatically dangerous" thing is a bit like the "exceeding a speed limit is automatically dangers" thing. Same sort of mind set. When you look a bit deeper, you start asking yourself "Ok, so why don't taxi drivers crash all the time when using their radios? Or truckers with their CBs? or Emergency Services drivers...or even Top Gear presenters with their walkie talkies?

The only logical stance is that there are SOMETIMES situations where using a mobile while driving can be dangerous - just like there are SOMETIMES situations when exceeding a speed limit can be dangerous.


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