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It's good to talk - or is it?

21 Jan 2010 at 10:30

adonis handheld lord mobile phones

By Adrian Tink, RAC Motoring Strategist

Try walking along with your head craned over to one side, just enough to wedge say an orange between your head and your shoulder... bear with me here...

I guarantee within a few minutes at least one of the following will happen; you'll feel disorientated, maybe even a bit queezy, you'll certainly struggle to keep walking in a straight line and you might just bump into something or even worse fall over!

(Ok, before I get sued by people who've tried it and did themselves an injury - please don't try this at home - I did and trust me the door frame has never been the same since!)

So why do people still do it when behind the wheel of roughly a tonne and a half of moving metal? Albeit with a mobile phone rather than an orange...

Drive round any town or city in this country and you'll still see people using handheld mobile phones while driving - I guarantee it, I see them everyday!

Clearly 3pts and a £60 fine doesn't bother them or, more worringly, the risk that they pose to the safety of you and I.

So I was interested to see Lord Adonis' remarks that he would consider raising the penalties. On the one hand I'm really pleased to see the Government still has the issue on their radar, problem is I'm not sure increasing the penalties alone is the solution - not on its own anyway.

The fact is I fear most of the people that still do it simply don't think they're going to get caught. Increased enforcement is what's really needed - you have to convince these people that they're more likely to get caught than not.

For that we need more visible Policing on our streets and roads, without it I'm not sure an increased penalty alone will make much difference...