Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) is spreading the message of in-car distractions this week, in particular mobile phones. Don’t give them a reason to stop you on the roads.
It may seem trivial, and it may “just be a text”, but the Casualty Reduction Officers at SSRP are standing firm on the law and the zero-tolerance approach in Sussex to mobile phones. Not only has it been illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving since 2003, it is also one of the most contentious road safety issues around. Be honest – have you ever used a mobile whilst driving?
There has been a very sad story recently published from Sussex Police, about a van driver receiving a 15-month jail sentence for causing life-changing injuries to another driver. At the time, the driver of the van was checking his e-POD mobile device, which was displaying his schedule for the next day. He should have had his eyes on the road, and if that had been the case, the driver he crashed in to may have had a luckier escape. But for a moment’s distraction, the consequences will last a lifetime.
If you know you will be receiving a call during your journey, contact the caller ahead of time to tell them you will be driving. If you think you may get distracted whilst in a traffic jam, put your phone in the boot before you set off. If you think you might get bored without your phone to occupy you, think about what you did before mobile phones were everywhere.
Consider what effect your actions may have on someone else. No one wants to have to deal with insurance companies, or the awkwardness of having your car off the road, or worse – an injury. It could be minor, or it could be extremely serious. But none of this is worth that momentary glance at your mobile. So whilst you adjust your mirror, pull the seat forwards, change in to your driving shoes, and select the right CD, make sure your phone is out of reach. You can save lives by doing so.