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Technology and driving – not a good mix

Author: Gail Harris

Technology has become a way of everyday life and is widely used by children, teenagers and adults alike. However, Smartphones, amongst other devices, can be a serious distraction, particularly for drivers who can become over reliant on them as satellite navigation systems. These devices are also a frequent distraction to pedestrians and cyclists who may be paying more attention to their phone than the road ahead, or the traffic.

Studies have found that drivers cannot help but be distracted by texts and calls, so the best advice is to turn the phone to silent, or switch off altogether.

Despite the fact that it has been against the law to use a mobile phone while driving since 2003, police still seem to be facing an uphill struggle in getting the message across to drivers. In fact, an alarming trend is ‘streaming’ where drivers stream live videos of themselves while driving, or use aps like snapchat to take selfies.

Earlier in the year, Portsmouth Police took to the M27 at rush hour and caught 15 drivers using their phones within just 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, Leicestershire Police tried to tackle the problem by doubling on-the-spot-fines to £60 and giving the driver 3 points on their licence. In addition to the on-the-spot fines, if the case goes to court, drivers can face a fine of up to £1,000 and 2 years imprisonment.

Diane Parker, partner and head of personal injury at Atherton Godfrey, commented: “As solicitors dealing with road traffic accident cases, we know only too well what the result of careless driving can be. The financial implications are far outweighed by the absolutely devastating consequences a crash can have on families; even a one second lapse in concentration can result in a tragic and needless loss of life.”




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