October 26, 2016

There used to be a time when everyone was worried that texting or chatting or whatever while driving could get you in serious trouble. We’re not talking about the kind of trouble that involves stuff like accidentally running down slow-moving pedestrians or driving into other vehicles and stuff – but LAW type trouble.

Thankfully, we can all relax now because the fuzz have come over all ‘intensely relaxed’ about in-car phone use. Which is great, because if someone texts or whatsapps or whatever and you’ve got to be thinking ‘ooh, should I take this or not,’ that’s really kind of annoying. But, now, praise the lord, it’s open season for keeping in touch while on the move.

Back in 2011, no fewer than 123,000 people had a fixed penalty slapped on them for in-car mobile phone use. Dark days indeed! But last year the equivalent figure was under 17,000. But what at first sight appears to be a whopping 700% increase in laisser-faire enlightened tolerance might in fact have an alternative explanation.

If you think the boys in blue have suddenly come over all reasonable and accepted that an extra 4,000 odd RTAs per year (with, yes, a few hundred fatalities, maimings, paralyses etc. thrown in) is actually a pretty decent trade-off for the ability to keep in touch while on the move, you maybe need to think again.

It might simply be that, since there’s hardly any traffic cops left now, they’re focusing on more important things like impounding and flogging uninsured vehicles and other stuff where cameras can do the work for them.

Either way, it’s great news for people who want to keep in touch while on the move. Obviously you’re going to get whingers who are like ‘oh, my entire family was wiped out by a texting lorry driver’ or whatever, but we can’t go back to some idyllic mythical past where everyone drove around in miserable silence with nary a snapchat to divert them.

And, let’s face it, just staring at the road in front of you for hours on end isn’t exactly entertaining!

man using phone while driving the car


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