Ditch the phone before you go mobile - it's the law

It is now illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device while driving at all times – even if stopped in traffic.

Penalty points

If caught you could now get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200. Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500.

With the recent changes in law regarding mobile phone use, it’s interesting to ask why the changes to the law have been brought in.

Shocking findings

The Transport Research Laboratory conducted a study of the effects of mobile phone use whilst driving, using the benchmark of a person having a blood alcohol count at the legal limit. The results are shocking as their graphic shows.

Reaction times

Mick Clarke, Oxfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service Road Safety Manager explained: “Your reaction times are hugely affected by holding a conversation on a mobile phone, primarily because of how we communicate.

When you have a face to face conversation with someone, the majority of information you absorb from them is actually non-verbal - you read their body language and do so unconsciously.

If you remove the visual cues by having that conversation over a mobile phone your brain has to work that much harder to process the conversation.

When putting the activity together with a skill that requires both cognitive and psychomotor function to be working in harmony – in simple language thinking and moving in response to two different things at once -  the effects can be devastating.

“The vast majority of people who obey the laws are to be congratulated for helping to keep our roads safer. Those who are still using phones when they drive need to take the opportunity to change their habits now.”