‘Disappointing’ increase in drivers using mobile phones

THERE was a 34 per cent increase in the number of drivers arrested last year for using a mobile phone behind the wheel compared to 2010.

More people werecaught driving using a mobile phone last year compared to 2010
More people werecaught driving using a mobile phone last year compared to 2010

THERE was a 34 per cent increase in the number of drivers arrested last year for using a mobile phone behind the wheel compared to 2010.

By early December in 2011, the total number of arrests for this offence was 402 compared to 300 for the whole of 2010.

Inspector Diane Wheeler said that the total for the year could be even higher when the final figures were available.

'This increase is very disappointing. It can be very dangerous for motorists to use their mobile phones while at the wheel of a car as they can't concentrate on their driving or react so swiftly,' she said.

Comments for: "‘Disappointing’ increase in drivers using mobile phones"

Baltic Boris

Maybe because its a crazy law - I recently followed a woman down the avenue who was putting her make up on whislt driving - the irony is that she had a "hands on sticker" on her rear screen - obviously a supporter of "safe driving campaigns" -

Per Ardua

I can't believe the police in Jersey arrest people for using a mobile 'phone whilst driving.

Is this a proportionate and necessary response? In the U.K. the police just issue offenders with a fixed penalty notice and points are put on the wrong doer's driving licence.

If the police in Jersey had the ability to issue fixed penalty notices, it could save a lot of time and the money raised could go into the States coffers. Arresting folk for minor offences like this is surely a nonsense.

the thin wallet

and pedestrians with i pods on.

and cyclists who go wherever they like and folw no rules or road signs.

C Le Verdic

Why are they all so stupid that they hold the phone in the right hand for all to see so easily?

An ordinary hard wired earphone/microphone combination is so much easier to use that I can't understand why anyone would want to hold the phone anyway.

I drive an automatic but still far prefer the earpiece. It frees up a hand for the expansive gestures which are an essential component of any good phone call.

Made in the area immediately outside the driver's window, these gestures are also very useful for confusing any other drivers who can still remember hand signals.

Grumpy Old Woman

I can't believe that the 3 posts above all seem to believe that to drive whilst talking on a mobile phone is OK and not worthy of severe penalty. Perhaps as it would seem, this ignorant belief is widespread hence the high number of people arrested for same.

Anyone caught holding/using a mobile phone whilst driving should, in my opinion, be banned from driving for a year - the threat of that should hopefully make tossers thing twice!

BR

You've got the name right, nothing like a complete over reaction.

Talking on a mobile phone whilst driving is easy, try texting that takes real skill.

J Bean

I could not belief my eyes when I was in Asia seeing a guy on a moped on a motorway, several boxes of fresh flowers on the back too, texting away...as you say it must take real skill!

Mulvie Le Phew

I'd go further, on the spot fines for failing to indicate or have lights on during the early morning or evening in winter months.What about speeding, yes we have laws but they are not enforced, if there's a shortage of money in the states coffers then hit these idiots and generate income and make the roads safer.

I can't understand how anyone can be so desperate to receive a phone call that they can't wait until they reach their destination and call back. Worse offenders are the dimwits who stop wherever they are to take a call, it's as bad as using the phone while driving.

Bo

Grumpy old woman @ 5

'Anyone caught holding/using a mobile phone whilst driving should, in my opinion, be banned from driving for a year – the threat of that should hopefully make tossers thing twice!', does this deter drink drivers, speeders, no, what about those women that I see each morning doing their hair, make up ect with kids in the car? But I do agree, some of the posts side with drivers using there phone whilst drving.

the thin wallet @ 3, what the hell have pedestrians with ipods got to do with it and cyclists. Whilst I agree there are a small minority of cyclists are ignorant of such laws, they are a minority - this post is to do with driving with a mobile phone.

Educating these fools with compulsory courses who practice driving whilst using a phone, the course run during working hours and paid with the fines they will receive from the magistrate and the endorsement on their licence after notifying their insurance company of the crime, perhaps then this practice will be on a downward trend.

Jo

Bo at 7:

"the thin wallet @ 3, what the hell have pedestrians with ipods got to do with it and cyclists. Whilst I agree there are a small minority of cyclists are ignorant of such laws, they are a minority – this post is to do with driving with a mobile phone."

Well, the answer to that is that the use of a mobile phone while driving is dangerous. It is dangerous because it acts as a distraction to the driver. It occupies, in part, at least on of his senses.

And so to the pedestrian with the headphones. An extremely dangerous situation for the same reason.

Cyclists, meanwhile, constitute an unpredictable and potentially dangerous menace on the roads. In fact, it is plausible that the widespread disregard of the law by cyclists (riding through red lights, against one way systems, on pavements and without lighting at nightfall) presents the biggest danger of all to any class of road user.

What has this got to do with motorists using mobile phones? Well, quite a lot really. The roads are crowded and are used by the various classes of road user, all of whom owe a duty of care to one another. The behaviour of the motorist is relevant to this, as is the behaviour of the lorry driver, the behaviour of the public services vehicle driver and, of course, the behaviour of pedestrians and our friends the cyclists. If robust sentences are to follow, then any such hard line should extend to any class of road user, no matter how self-entitled a particular group may claim to be.

Fred

Don't forget cyclists who ride while using a mobile phone.

Bo

Jo @ 8

But it is not against the law for a cyclist or a pedestrian to use a mobile phone or wear headphones whilst listening to their ipod.

Also, when you have a cycle route that goes against the flow of traffic, ie the one from stopford road to gas place, how can you educate the young, who are the ones that commit the majority of the cycling misjudgements with the mentality of the parish and TTS that setup and marked out these routes?

Again, if you read my post carefully, it is a minority of cyclists that commit such crimes as disobeying road signs, but we have no statistics as to the level crime committed in this area other than people theories as to the levels of this crime.

I agree all road users have a level of care to one another the onus is on the motorist, the pedestrian and the cyclist should take care, they are not the ones who have to be licenced, but should a motorist through no fault of their own be involved with these other road users is automatically at fault and if the police are involved are cautioned. You may say this is unfair, maybe, but if you were the pedestrian or cyclist how would you feel about the ton of steel that just hit you at a junction are on a crossing regardless if they are on the phone or listening to their music. My point is you will never stamp out this practice of motorist using mobile phones whilst driving, or speeding or drink driving, you can take their licence away, but will stop the person driving, no, if it did, woe would not have had this report in the first place let alone a prison full of inmates for all the other crimes that have been committed.

Fi

10:

" but should a motorist through no fault of their own be involved with these other road users is automatically at fault and if the police are involved are cautioned".

That is incorrect. A motorist will not automatically be at fault if he or she is involved in an accident with a pedestrian or a cyclist. That is not the law at all. If an officer attempts to caution on those grounds, then the caution should not be accepted.

I am not sure that cycling while wearing an ipod or while using a phone is legal. It might not be the subject of a specific legal provision as is driving while holding a phone, but it identifiable as riding without due care and attention. The cyclist would find any civil claim disbarred as well.

Pedestrians cannot be criminalised in practical terms, as you say. Again though, the extent of any civil claim will depend upon the pedestrian's contribution to the accident. Indeed, a motorist is able to sue a pedestrian for various damages where the pedestrian causes an accident.

Even if cycling with an ipon or while on the phone is lawful, the flaw there is not, somehow, the cyclist does not, on your argument, have any particular duty to ride with due consideration for other road users. Therein lies the rub. Certain classes of road user seem to regard themselves as somehoe exempt to use the roads in a responsible fashion. Those same road users are the first to complain when their behaviour gives rise to a road traffic accident.

Of course, the above must also be considered in conjunction with the propensity of cyclists to ride up one way streets, against red lights, upon pavements, at night with no lights and changing lanes without signalling the intention to do so.

nigel

There is an easy answer. A fine and they must re-take the driving test. That'll stop them.

Against muppets driving

Phoning whilst driving is completely uneccesary, dangerous and should be punished with a large fine modeled on a £400 base fine plus £10 for every second the call took. Also if there were a points system here being used the offender should instantly lose three quarters of their points for this. Same should be said for mummies applying make up on the school run, lorry drivers lighting up their ciggy with both both hands whilst steering with their knees, van drivers doing the same whilst trying to munch on a massive buttie etc, etc,etc . I drove behind someone recently who slowed down to almost a crawl as he was so engrossed in a call on the phone, I doubt he knew where he was in the parish at that very moment. There should be a generic law somewhere that has the ability to punish the real muppets that do the above and have no concept of what safe driving involves and put peoples lives in danger. I always look at issues like this with the "what if one of my family was hurt by a selfish moron like this" scenario and I would bet no one would support a driver who mowed down their child whilst not paying attention at the wheel.

Any of the posts that support or make light of this issue clearly have a lot of growing up to do!

C Le Verdic

#13, you might be underestimating the ability of some (but by no means all) drivers to multitask.

I do not suggest that anyone should steer with their knees but it shouldn't be too difficult for most people to eat snacks or tak a quick swig from a water bottle when circumstances allow. There is a big difference between crawling in the commuter queue and negotiating Bouley Bay Hill in pouring rain.

A telephone call using accessories to obviate holding the phone to the ear shouldn't be too difficult to carry out as long as the driver can live without the accompanying gestures and not drif mentally into another world. If not, why not ban driving while talking to/arguing with passengers or fiddling around with satnavs or in car entertainment?

Highly trained fighter pilots can mutitask so it shouldn't be impossible for some drivers, as long as they are of appropriate calibre, to manage these skills . The fighter pilots have to go fast, drivers at least have the option to slow down.

The real problem lies with drivers not putting the act of driving first, instead of unwrapping and lighting the fag or drafting the text message being their priority.

Jon

Sometimes I think it may be safer for them to take the call while driving instead on simply stopping their car, often in the middle of the road, on a bend or on the pavement.

I can't imagine the lives these people live that it is necessary to potentially endanger others simply to answer their phones. I doubt the calls are of any real importance that they can't simply be dealt with when safe to do so.I do accept that there will be exceptions, but in reality, very few.

C Le Verdic

# 15

'I doubt the calls are of any real importance that they can’t simply be dealt with when safe to do so.I do accept that there will be exceptions, but in reality, very few'

If that is the case how come, when the topic of States members Blackberries etc. was under discussion, the concensus of comments was that these things are now indispensible and that nobody can do a job properly without instant access to information?

'Important' people are not going to let mundane activities like driving get in the way of their multimedia intensive lifestyles.

The genie is out of the lamp. Expect gadget fiddling while driving to increase multifold.

nigel

A couple of years ago, I saw a woman bottle feeding a child in a front child seat while driving down St. John's Road in the morning rush hour. I still haven't recovered from seeing such stupidity.