Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17399
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 6 Aug 2015, 10:42pm

Psamathe wrote:
kingrollo wrote:Hope no one minds this here - this issue affects everyone, not just cyclists, but pedestrains , other drivers. People on there phones driving is a menace - whats more its totally uneccesary - a couple of things that have really got my goat recently:-

1.On a 5 mile 20 minute car journey - I counted 7 people - either texting or talking on mobiles

2.Whilst driving home I seen a full size aric lorry - take a mini roundabout - faster than I thought he should have - I glanced unbelvably he was blatantly chatting on mobile phone...

However a £60 fine & 3 points doesn't really deter .....

I have tried to get e-petitions - to get the fine increased - or at least get an advertisng campaign to raise awareness of this issue

I have also tried taking photos off offenders - and posted these on bad driver web sites - problem is it is hard to get a photo including reg plate, and driver - and then of course If I am driving at the time - I am almost as guilty as them - if I am messing about trying get a photo when i should be concentrating on driving !

Any ideas \ suggestions

You could buy one of these http://www.cellphonejammers.co.uk/product.php?id_product=15 (battery powered cell blocker).

So whilst they might be talking whilst you are at some distance from them, as you get nearer they will no longer be talking !! and they wont know why they lost their caller.

In fact, it would be rather nice if loads of cyclists started carrying there around in their saddle bag/panniers/etc. and then mobile phones would become rather useless whilst cyclists are around. ... "I have a dream ..."

Ian


Illegal, and counter productive.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

DarkNewt
Posts: 388
Joined: 12 Aug 2014, 9:55pm
Location: West Midlands

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby DarkNewt » 7 Aug 2015, 1:43am

Ian[/quote]

Illegal, and counter productive.[/quote]

Ian is right they are illegal to use, Ian when you say counterproductive I have to agree, if you have ever seen anyone when the signal drops their attention becomes even less as they become even more distracted trying to fiddle with the phone.

I really think the only way to deal with this problem is a HEAVY fine and points on the license as with everything knocking a cyclist off etc.. should be dealt with much more harshly and needs to be taken more seriously, however I would like to make a point that a lot of people miss.

THE POLICE TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY, they are the ones who see first hand along with medical staff the aftermath of careless driving, it is the CPS and the legal system that don't treat it seriously enough every police officer I have met is behind a realistic consequence for poor driving resulting in injured or dead cyclists, using a mobile phone being just one example! This is one case where as cyclists we can get behind our police force and focus attention on the lawmakers and those making prosecution decisions.

You can only go so far with educating if there is no consequence nothing will change!
Currently planning my next adventure and trying to get over two operations in 6 months but still going strong!
email: newt@systems-engineer.info web: thedarknewt.blogspot.co.uk

thirdcrank
Posts: 28803
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Aug 2015, 7:32am

Hints of vigilante enforcement, such as illegal jamming equipment and calls for condign punishment are symptoms of a perceived failure of enforcement. Dealing with mobile phone use is just one part of traffic policing and that has collapsed. The only time when mobile phone use at the wheel is really taken seriously is during the investigation of KSI crashes ie when prevention has failed and detection is a poor second-best.

The expectation of almost inevitable detection and a small fine with totting up points is a much more effective deterrent than the slight risk of a huge fine.

User avatar
[XAP]Bob
Posts: 17399
Joined: 26 Sep 2008, 4:12pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby [XAP]Bob » 7 Aug 2015, 7:37am

Points aren't a deterrent until they mean a ban at some point.

Not an opportunity to say that you need a car to make you feel like a person.
A shortcut has to be a challenge, otherwise it would just be the way. No situation is so dire that panic cannot make it worse.
There are two kinds of people in this world: those can extrapolate from incomplete data.

thirdcrank
Posts: 28803
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Aug 2015, 9:02am

The general points I'm making about the certainty of detection rather than a small chance of "deterrent" punishment can be observed anywhere where speed limits are enforced by average-speed camera systems. Compliance is very high, although sometimes that's helped by the weight of traffic hindering speeders. Contrast that with highly visible fixed location cameras where some drivers slow when passing them, ie where there's believed to be certainty of detection, but accelerate between them, where enforcement is extremely unlikely.

It may well be that the exploitation of the "exceptional hardship" provisions by some defendants detracts from the deterrent effect of totting-up but that simply reinforces what I'm saying about the expectation of inevitable detection and punishment, by undermining the inevitability bit. This also applies to some extent to all the "they can't touch you for it" stuff circulating on the internet.

User avatar
squeaker
Posts: 3627
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43pm
Location: Sussex

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby squeaker » 7 Aug 2015, 9:19am

Spot on TC: I never understood the speed camera = war on the motorist 'debate'. If you are speeding, you are speeding, end of. And, with sufficient occurences, end of driving for a while :roll:
"42"

User avatar
simonineaston
Posts: 2903
Joined: 9 May 2007, 1:06pm
Location: Live & work in Briz'l

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby simonineaston » 7 Aug 2015, 10:37am

squeaker wrote:Spot on TC: I never understood the speed camera = war on the motorist 'debate'. If you are speeding, you are speeding, end of. And, with sufficient occurences, end of driving for a while :roll:
Some people regard it as their right to ignore speed limits - they take the view that the roads belong to them and they know what they're doing and in the case of at least one of my colleague's partners about whom I used to hear a string of stories, on the subject of his driving, you'd think that the police' sole reason d'être was to prevent him getting on with his job, which was an odd-job labourer. Yes folks - you've guessed it, he drove to and fro' jobs in a white van, phone, no doubt, tucked under one ear 'ole, seat belt undone, and cheerfully rushing along at 40 in a 30 limit, on his way, late and hung-over, to his next job... make no mistake, if Trevor (not his real name) were banned, it'd be entirely the fault of the police and it wouldn't stop him carrying on driving one little bit!
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

thirdcrank
Posts: 28803
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Aug 2015, 12:43pm

Another thing to remember is that people who routinely break the law may not be too bothered about losing their licence - presuming they have one.

But, "otherwise law-abiding people" only tend to misbehave if they think they can get away with it. This means that the more they see others doing something, the more they will treat it as OK. I only mentioned average-speed cameras to make the point about the perceived certainty of enforcement. Another very visible example of what I'm saying is disregard of traffic lights. We are rapidly approaching a point where they might as well be replaced with GIVE WAY signs, if widespread camera enforcement is not introduced because drivers, including cyclists, know that the likelihood of enforcement is small.

FWIW, I don't think there is now the slightest possibility of change without some fundamental changes to the legal system eg an extension of the "decriminalised" system now used for enforcing yellow lines to be extended to a much wider range of traffic offences and to make disqualification from driving an administrative matter rather than a punishment.

irc
Posts: 4727
Joined: 3 Dec 2008, 2:22pm
Location: glasgow

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby irc » 7 Aug 2015, 1:30pm

thirdcrank wrote:The expectation of almost inevitable detection and a small fine with totting up points is a much more effective deterrent than the slight risk of a huge fine.


Not sure about this. Drink driving was tackled with education along with disqualifications, huge fines (court fines and vast insurance increases) despite a low chance of detection.

Society just needs to decide that mobile phone use is a priority. I suspect they cause far more crashes than the stats show. My son saw a crash this week where one driver went through a red light while looking down as if texting.

Currently for mobile use and speeding we have the worst of both world. Small chance of detection and small punishment. How can you reduce dangerous driving when even if you are caught you need to get caught 3 more times in 3 years for it to cause much inconvenience.

And the special circumstances allowed for not banning people who reach 12pts needs abolished. If losing your licence is so inconvenient don't break the law.

blackbike
Posts: 2492
Joined: 11 Jul 2009, 3:21pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby blackbike » 7 Aug 2015, 2:09pm

In town I sometimes block a driver's progress until they have put their phone away.

Of course, this only works if the driver cannot just go round me and my bike, but that is usually the case on the crowded roads I ride.

To alert a driver that someone has noticed their criminality I usually just give a light knock on their window. The reactions are varied from looks of appalled, apologetic shame to wonderful displays of beetroot faced anger.

My local police force has recently run a one-week campaign against this particular offence, and told us they caught 285 criminals during it. While I'm grateful that the police had this campaign I'm sure that any reasonably alert officer or PCSO could catch that many on his or her own just by spending a day wandering about the streets of one local town, so the campaign was obviously a very low key one.

http://www.wigantoday.net/news/local/po ... -1-7295054

The simplest and cheapest way to discourage phone use would be one year driving bans like drunkards get when they are caught behind the wheel.

Perhaps we could also compel public sector employers to sack people convicted of this offence. Do we want public servants who willingly endanger the lives of the public, even if they are not at work when they do it?

thirdcrank
Posts: 28803
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Aug 2015, 2:15pm

blackbike got in before me:

One important thing about the drink/drive twelve months ban is that exceptional hardship is not a way out.

Apart from that, while breathtesting eventually achieved excellent results, the present situation was hardly achieved overnight. That's no reason not to try to emulate it, of course, but it needs to be kept in mind.

Postboxer
Posts: 1635
Joined: 24 Jul 2013, 5:19pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby Postboxer » 7 Aug 2015, 2:48pm

The penalty should also include instant phone confiscation, as that would also cause people major hassle as people have lots of information, photo's etc on their phones, some of them also cost lots of money, if you use it, lose it. There, even the beginnings of a catchy slogan for the campaign.

User avatar
squeaker
Posts: 3627
Joined: 12 Jan 2007, 11:43pm
Location: Sussex

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby squeaker » 7 Aug 2015, 5:18pm

blackbike wrote:My local police force has recently run a one-week campaign against this particular offence, and told us they caught 285 criminals during it.
But are they 'criminals'? My local 'force' (Sussex) don't include such 'crimes' ("Road Traffic Offences") when they do a report for the local county committee (I asked at one meeting and was told that they were 'different' by the nice lady with scrambled egg on shoulder who would get back to me and explain later...I'm still waiting), nor do they specify such on their web site.
Anyone (nudge TC) know why?
Embarrassment :?: :roll: :lol:
"42"

thirdcrank
Posts: 28803
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Aug 2015, 5:47pm

The word "crime" is bandied about quite a lot and with different meanings in different contexts.

So, the criminal law largely relates to matters for which people are prosecuted, in contrast to the civil law which is concerned with private remedies such as compo, injunctions etc.

The offences which are statistically recorded as "crimes" are decided by the Home Office, which also receives all the crime stats. There are loads of counting rules decreed by the Home Office which are supposed to ensure comparability of the data, but which are changed as and when. As a rule-of-thumb, crimes are the more serious offences (as decided by the Home Office) and are those which in an idealised world, somebody might report to the police with a view to an investigation and detection. The apparent seriousness or triviality of an individual incident is irrelevant so the theft of a small item is a theft, which is a crime. There have, of course, been plenty of cases involving manipulating these stats.

The two most common broad categories of offences which are not crimes are nearly all traffic offences and minor public order: drunk and disorderly etc. With the exception of accident reports, the stats for offences in these categories are only a record of police activity. ie a hundred drunk prosecuted is only that. It's by no means a measure of the extent of drunkenness. In the context of this thread, mobile phone use, speeding and drunk-driving are not recorded as crimes. The only info is on the numbers of people dealt with for them. "Dealt with" is my expression to cover prosecuted, cautioned, and probably nowadays, offered speed awareness courses.

Be aware that it's a long time since I had any involvement in this. 30+ years. They've invented computers since then. :oops: I think the definitions are broadly the same.

I've just rattled this off to try to clarify the points raised in the earlier posts. I didn't think up any of the rules or definitions so I don't feel disposed to defend them, but I'll try to clarify further if something that seems clear to me is opaque to others.

Flinders
Posts: 3022
Joined: 10 Mar 2009, 6:47pm

Re: Drivers on Phones - What Can we do ?

Postby Flinders » 7 Aug 2015, 6:27pm

thirdcrank wrote:The general points I'm making about the certainty of detection rather than a small chance of "deterrent" punishment can be observed anywhere where speed limits are enforced by average-speed camera systems. Compliance is very high, although sometimes that's helped by the weight of traffic hindering speeders. Contrast that with highly visible fixed location cameras where some drivers slow when passing them, ie where there's believed to be certainty of detection, but accelerate between them, where enforcement is extremely unlikely.

It may well be that the exploitation of the "exceptional hardship" provisions by some defendants detracts from the deterrent effect of totting-up but that simply reinforces what I'm saying about the expectation of inevitable detection and punishment, by undermining the inevitability bit. This also applies to some extent to all the "they can't touch you for it" stuff circulating on the internet.


That's an excellent post. I agree about the liklihood of being nicked being more significant than the size of the penalty. It's clear that so many drivers routinely speed/use the phone that they don;t expect to be caught, and aren't getting caught; they simply wouldn't be doing it if there was more than a small chance of being caught at it.

I do have one query re average speed limits. When they first came in I'd say compliance was as near to 100% as anything. In fact, personally I think average speed monitoring should be in place between all M-way junctions, just for a start. But lately I have noticed people, including HGV drivers, doing a good 10mph (my estimate) over the 'average' limit (but only in a few specific places so far, so it isn't my speedo, which also agrees with the ones that tell you your speed).
My question is- are some ave speed setups not operating and do drivers know which through nefarious means, or are they not actually enforced in some areas (and the local drivers know it)?