Earlier this year new penalties were put into place in a bid to reduce the number of drivers using their mobile phone behind the wheel. The previous £100 fine and three penalty points was doubled to a hefty £200 fine and six points on your driver’s licence. For drivers who had held their licence for less than two years it could lead to their licence being completely revoked.
It was hoped that this new penalty would drastically decrease the number of drivers using their phone behind the wheel, however it seems this isn’t the case.
Recent surveys have suggested that although the new and harsher penalties are now in place many motorists believe that they won’t be caught. Even more worryingly there are a lot of drivers that believe using their phone behind the wheel won’t be a distraction to them. Tests show that both braking reactions and distances are greatly increased when either texting or making a call behind the wheel.
New Technology Developed By Nissan
In a bid to prevent drivers being able to use their phone while driving Nissan have developed a technology that blocks incoming and outgoing calls and messages to your phone. Drivers simply place their phone in a box called ‘Signal Shield’, located on the armrest and the signal will be blocked.
The idea behind the technology is that it will reduce temptation for drivers reaching for their phone as no messages or calls can be received or sent. The device is currently at its prototype stage so it may be some time before it is rolled out into new vehicles!
The biggest and most obvious piece of advice we can give you is to simply put your phone out of sight and out of reach, where you can’t be tempted to use it. In the glovebox is a great place as although you won’t be tempted to reach for it when driving, if there is an emergency and you need to pull over it is still easily accessible.
Investing in a hands free kit allows you to make calls without directly holding your phone, although it does still require a certain level of concentration and inevitable distraction. While using a hands free kit isn’t illegal it could still land you in hot water with the law if using it leads to an accident.
If you really need to make a call we suggest pulling over in a safe place, switching off your engine and then using your phone. It stops you from getting in trouble with the police, but ultimately prevents danger to yourself and other road users!