Got this in from Mr Fixed Line SMS, Paul Worsley
Thames Valley Police will be launching a new education workshop called Ã¢â‚¬ËœCall Divert’ for motorists who are caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
The new workshop will be offered to offenders across the region from 27 February when tough new penalties are introduced for the offence nationwide. The first Call Divert workshops will take place in April 2007.
Motorists caught using hand-held mobile phones while driving in the Thames Valley will be given the option of attending a Ã¢â‚¬ËœCall Divert’ workshop instead of getting points on their licence. The workshop’s aim is to educate drivers about the real dangers of making a mobile phone call when driving and raise awareness among drivers that this is not only illegal, but is a significant cause of accidents.
The new workshop will focus on the effects of holding a mobile phone when driving. It will also emphasise how in-car distractions can lead to potentially fatal consequences for the driver and their passengers, as well as other road users.
The use of mobile phones is a danger because they are a distraction which will increase the driver’s reaction time:
I’m pretty sure anyone caught will be well up for attending the course rather than opting for points on their license.
Quite telling statistics in the press release. Have a read of this:
– An average alert driver’s reaction time is 0.98 of a second and at 70mph, for example, the vehicle will travel 31 metres in that time before the driver even begins to hit the brakes.
– When using a hands-free mobile that reaction time increases to 1.25 seconds and 39 metres; when using a hand-held mobile this jumps to 1.46 seconds. This is half as slow again as normal, and a total distance of 45 metres, some 9 car lengths, 3 more that had the driver been concentrating; this quite literally could mean the difference between life and death.
– Using any mobile phone slows one’s reactions even more than alcohol at the legal limit.