We’ve all got a responsibility to keep our roads safe. For professional drivers following the law is more important than ever.
The consequences for not following the rules could result in you losing your vocational licence, or in the worst case causing a fatal accident.
From 1 March 2017, the penalties for drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving doubled – to 6 points and a £200 fine.
That’s why THINK! has launched a campaign urging all drivers to put their phone away while driving.
Risks and dangers
Unfortunately, the use of mobile phones while driving remains a problem. 31% of the public admit to using their hand-held mobiles while driving, even though 96% of people agree it’s unacceptable.
We all know how dangerous drink-driving is. But did you know that research shows that you’re twice as likely to crash text-driving as you are drink-driving?
Using your phone while driving is distracting and requires you to concentrate on two ‘thinking’ tasks at once. Our brain is not programmed to do this effectively.
Looking down at your phone for only a few seconds means you’re taking your eyes off the road. This causes a driving blind spot where accidents can happen.
“Nothing is so important it can’t wait”
In 2006, Zoë Carvin, a 42-year-old teacher and mother of two, was killed when a lorry crashed into her car and two other vehicles. The driver was reading a text message on his phone at the time of the incident.
He was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving and sentenced to prison.
As part of THINK!’s campaign, Zoë’s family - Paul, Ben and Emily - share their story of how one driver texting at the wheel changed their lives forever.
You can watch the video below
Put your phone away
Sadly, this isn’t a one-off case. In 2015, 22 people were killed and 99 seriously injured in incidents involving drivers using mobile phones.
Whether you’re an operator licence holder, transport manager or driver, please tell your employees about the change in the law and share our video.
You can remind them that it’s not just 6 penalty points and a £200 fine, Traffic Commissioners can also call professional drivers to conduct hearings for mobile phone offences.
For the first mobile phone offence in a commercial vehicle, the starting point is a 4-week suspension of the driver’s vocational licence.
So whether it’s you or your employees driving, THINK! and put your phone away.