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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Drivers urged to park up to use their mobile phones


As part of a national campaign taking place between 20 February and 12 March, drivers are being urged to park up to use their mobile phone so they can give their friends, family, work or the task they are doing their full attention.

Good drivers are good because they are completely focused on the road. It’s not rocket science. However a survey, carried out for the RAC Report on Motoring 2020 indicated that the growing popularity of FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Snapchat for video calls is posing a new and present danger on the UK’s roads.

Alarmingly, the survey also found that 29% of drivers of all ages in 2020 said they make and receive calls on handheld phones when driving, with younger drivers more likely to do so (42%) and those in the 25 to 44 age group also statistically more likely to break the law (32%).

This may be because drivers don’t want to miss out on what friends are wearing, eating or watching, but what they may not realise is that by using a handheld mobile while driving, they risk losing their licence or crashing and then missing out on a whole lot more.

There’s also no point using the excuse of trying to keep your job to justify using a handheld mobile while driving as it actually puts your job at risk. You could receive a £200 fine and 6 points and if you’re within the first 2 years of passing your test you’ll lose your license and have to retake your theory and practical tests again.

So why not give your call or text the attention it deserves, pull over and park first.

Please follow these tips to be a better driver

  • Turn your mobile phone off before you drive and put it out of reach to avoid temptation

  • Keep the volume down on your phone and set the music playing before you set off

  • Set the sat nav destination before leaving. Rely more on voice instructions rather than staring at the screen so you keep your eyes on the road

  • Stop to eat and drink. Don’t snack at the wheel

  • Park up to check or to use your mobile phone.

  • Talk later. Save in depth conversations for when the journey is over.

  • Passengers please don’t do anything that could distract the driver even for a moment

  • Tell work, friends and family that you will check your phone regularly, but you will not use your mobile phone to respond to them whilst driving because you need to concentrate on driving

  • Remember how important you are. Don’t let a text, a status update, a share, a meme be the one thing that could potentially destroy your world (and possibly someone else’s).

To understand the effect that driving whilst distracted could have on you please try this interactive game from The Open University Are you a focused driver? – OpenLearn – Open University

Sergeant Shaun Bridle said “When you are driving it is essential that you keep your full attention on the road. Your safety, the safety of your passengers and the safety of other road users is paramount.

“Your parents, family, or friends, really would not want you to have a collision potentially injuring yourself or someone else because you are distracted by calling or texting them.”

“The safest thing to do is to wait until you are safely parked before using your mobile, or other device.”

Chair of Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership and Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said

“We are keen to do everything we can to help educate young drivers around the risks of being distracted whilst driving. This is because we know that a young driver’s risk of crashing increases by 12% for every passenger in the car.

“In January, we hosted a free road safety webinar for learner and young drivers offering a series of informative presentations, support and guidance from a panel of industry experts on subjects including choosing a first car and vehicle maintenance to new driver safety. We also work with First Car Approved Driving Instructors to deliver The Honest Truth to learner drivers to develop the decision-making skills they need to stay safe when first driving on their own.”

The public can play a part too in improving road safety by using Op Snap to report and submit digital footage showing potential moving traffic offences such as using a mobile phone while driving. For more information please visit https://www.warwickshire.police.uk/operation-snap

Please follow the campaign on social media on Facebook @WarwickshirePolice and @WarwickshireRoadSafety and Twitter @WarksPolice and @WarksRoadSafety

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