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UK Motorists caught using mobiles whilst driving to be offered Call Divert Workshop

Got this in from Mr Fixed Line SMS, Paul Worsley

Link: Thames Valley Police current press releases

Thames Valley Police will be launching a new education workshop called ‘Call 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 ‘Call 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.

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

3 replies on “UK Motorists caught using mobiles whilst driving to be offered Call Divert Workshop”

I don’t understand why people drive and talk on the phone anyway, I’m sat on the sofa and I’m still jabbering away into the corded handsfree that came with my E61.

I don’t drive, so I say lock ’em up 😉

there is no excuse for using a mobile while driving, none at all – I nearly got run over yesterday by someone turning a corner while on the phone.

But tell me, will people get a certificate for attending the course? People could then pin it up in their bathroom next to the Asbo Order. Incredibly all these courses are becoming the new GCSE’s for society’s unwashed. Collect an Asbo, a Call Divert Workshop and a Congestion Charge Penalty in the same month and you’ll be entered in to a draw to win a years worth of unemployment benefit. Collect them all 2 months running and you are presented with a get out of jail free card by the Lord Chancellor himself!

Of course we could forget all the “after the fact” nonsense and actually spend better time and resources educating people “before hand” on the dangers of turning a steering wheel, changing down a gear and pressing the indicator switch all with one hand whilst yapping away on your mobile about last nights Big Brother!!

steve

Someone set the goverment up an MMS Shortcode so can car passengers can send in mobile video clips of offenders in action plus the car number plate.

As a Vespa rider I rely on car drivers to be vigilant and am sick of cars swerving across lanes and not seeing me cost the driver is on their mobile phone.

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