Well I see that the Government are trying to look as if they are getting tough on mobile phone use but I only think they are paying lip service to it. They don’t know what to do about it really. People don’t seem to be bothered that the law already states that you shouldn’t use a mobile and drive at the same time, they just ignore that as they probably think what is anyone going to do about it. The traffic police that existed when I was younger don’t seem to be present any more. I’m not saying that they don’t exist, I’m sure they do, but as police budgets have been cut things have to give and actively patrolling as a deterrent seems to be a lot less common than it was. I’m not blaming the police for this, something has had to give in response to budget cuts, and traffic policing seems to be an easy option to cut. The police now seem to be reactive rather than proactive. They go out when called to a job and then on to the next one and so on. I remember when I was a child, the police were always out on the street as a deterrent. That appears to have gone now.
So, what do we do to tackle the use of mobiles when driving. I listened to someone on the radio this morning, a police spokesman who may have been responsible for road policing, or may not – I’m not sure as I was distracted by a low flying bird that I nearly hit. However, what he was saying was that it would be sensible to let the police keep the fines from offences of using a phone while driving which would help pay towards policing it. I agree with that, but there is always the danger that it could become a cash cow to the police and they concentrate on this to the detriment of other police work. I couldn’t listen much longer as my phone rang. Typical. I answered it with the press of a button on my radio as I have hands free. I didn’t have to end the call after I had dealt with it as the radio came back on after the caller ended the call so I only had to make one quick press of a button on my radio but even that could have been a little distracting.
One other way you could sort it out is by using evidence from dash cams which are becoming more and more popular in cars. Using this evidence, or even video evidence from mobile phones, could lead to far more people being prosecuted for using a mobile phone whilst driving. You would have to incentivise people to send video evidence in but half the fine which means £100 for the first person to send video in of a car driver using a phone would help.
There would be technicalities to sort out, dash cam footage being allowed to be used in evidence in court would be a start, it would have to be anonymous for the sender and be of sufficient quality to lead to a fine. It would also need to clearly show the driver using a phone, the vehicle registration, time, date, GPS data and so on but I am sure this could be worked out. It is possible to do it if the will is there but I doubt the Government would want to do this but it should think about it. It may just well work.
It’s a bit like the council the other day that was talking about paying their resident’s council tax if they helped report people for not cleaning dog mess up and so on. I think it was Liverpool, but it doesn’t matter who it was, it’s the idea behind it that, I think, that is sensible. I would love to have my council tax paid and if it mean showing that someone had broken the law, well I think I could cope with that.
I also think I would go out and buy a second dash cam to fit into my car but on the rear window as that is when I notice most people using a phone, in my rear-view mirror.
Maybe I could leave my job and become a mobile phone vigilante. It has to be better than working for a living.