All of yesterday the media was bursting the news that a new law has been passed which means drivers caught using their phone at the wheel could receive up to six points on their license, a £200 fine and whose who have only been driving for two years could have their license revoked. Despite the fact that I think the new law is good news, I think they’re missing the point slightly by focusing on young drivers.
It would be more appropriate if each case the drivers’ history and so on was taken into consideration to reach a reasonable verdict. Meaning that a 45-year old reoffending driver could have their license revoked for breaking this law – not just younger inexperienced drivers.
As a driver I’ve been in many situations where its all too tempting to quickly check your notifications or answer an important call, especially if you’re sat stationary at a traffic light, so I think that the new law does have its benefits.
After knowing of a serious car accident that resulted in the death of two young girls, I have seen the heartbreak that careless driving can cause and I think that some drivers just don’t see that. They brush it off as something which is normal and so I hope this law minimizes this view.
Experts suggest that using a mobile phone during driving is just as dangerous as drinking and driving, which I certainly didn’t realise.
However, I have to say that the fact that its specifically targeting new drivers does frustrate me a little bit. I mean, why is it only those who have been driving for two years that receive the worst penalty? Surely the punishment should be the same across the board?
I understand that young drivers are still in somewhat of a ‘probation period’ where their ability to drive is certainly monitored to an extent. Repercussions for things like speeding and drink driving can lead to an automatic ban similar to this new proposal. But I simply think that if the this is going to be enforced, then it should be equal to all those who break the law.
So if you’ve had your license for 20 years then its okay to use your phone at the wheel?
Another thing I heard which also frustrated me was the suggestion that police weren’t doing enough to tackle this and catch more people out. Admittedly, if there were more traffic officers there would be more prosecutions for these types of crimes, but unfortunately that’s not practical and due to cuts and so on the police can’t afford to have that many officers out and about.
At the end of the day its our responsibility as people and as a society to make the right choice. We have been presented with the facts and we can’t expect to be walked through every decision we make. We should take responsibility for our actions. The law is in place and if caught there will be implications which apply to the new guidelines.
Having said this, I should focus on the positive side of this law. Hopefully the introduction will give more people the attitude of ‘its not worth it’ or I ‘wouldn’t risk it’. Especially if you are a new driver and know that there is a chance that just replying to a simple text could loose you the license that you’ve only just gained. If it puts a stop to road accidents caused by drivers on mobile phones, or at least decreases it then its worth it!