High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Bonefishblues
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby Bonefishblues » 1 Aug 2019, 3:51pm

kwackers wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:Saying this I have been :D

You are Aunt Fanny and I claim my five pounds???

Cheeky Nephew, you should be more respectful of your aged Aunt.

And anyway, I gave you that five pound note in 1974, have you spent it all already?

simonhill
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby simonhill » 1 Aug 2019, 4:24pm

Could he be done for Perverting the course of justice?

He lied in court and this was proven.

A police officer observed the respondent holding his phone up to the driver’s window for between 10 and 15 seconds. He stopped the respondent, at which point the phone was on his lap in video mode. He admitted what he had done and apologised. At his trial before the magistrates and on appeal he said he had passed the phone to his son and it was he who had filmed the scene. Digital footage taken from the camera was in evidence. In the event the Crown Court, like the Magistrates Court, disbelieved him and concluded that he had taken the film, as the police officer described.

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The utility cyclist
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby The utility cyclist » 1 Aug 2019, 5:29pm

slowster wrote:
Bonefishblues wrote:Not quite correct. I worked for Vodafone 1998-2005 and camera phones and phones with internet access were certainly available in 2003 (I had a Sharp, the first of its kind, IIRC), so whilst one might not have been able to predict quite the extent of the functionality, it was pretty obvious to us that this was going to be the go-to personal device in the pretty immediate future.
It wasn't hard to make it all-enveloping, even at that stage.

Legislation is generally necessarily reactive. Trying to anticipate future technological developments and framing laws before the nature of any problems or misuse of the technology became fully apparent would probably be a waste of resources, and often the legislation would prove to be wrong, inadequate or unnecessary, and would have to be repealed and replaced anyway.

IMO the specific legislation banning the use of mobile phones while driving was never really necessary - it was done because police and governments had failed to use the existing offence of careless driving to come down hard on the early owners of mobile phones who used their phone while driving. If they had done that, they would have probably nipped much of the problem in the bud. Instead, the failure to actively enforce the existing offence of careless driving for mobile use meant that as mobile phone ownership rapidly increased, the problem became widespread. Consequently specific legislation was passed to draw a line in the sand and make it clear that it was an offence and that police were expected to charge people using phones while driving.


Given the number of deaths and serious injuries from mobile phone use to call it 'careless' is just a bit weak and plays down the seriousness of it, it like drink driving should have its own law and be similar to the drink driving law, why it isn't is anyone's guess but an instant driving ban for 18 months plus hefty fine should mean we can employ lots of magistrates and hire some properties out for the swathes of wrong uns that would be caught if the powers that be were actually that bothered about this crime.

I came across a women waving her phone around driving with one hand and looking at the screen the other day, I banged on her window as she almost wiped me out, I'm using the sat nav she says, I know and that's a criminal offence to hold/use it in your hand I shouted back, put your effing phone down! :twisted:

We even have the ASA who refuse to ban adverts now despite the socially irresponsible showing of a motorist using social media on their 10" media console whilst driving, this is how much the powers that be don't give a flying one because they allow these things in motors in the first instance!

Why is it when it comes to motoring crimes the justice system finds any way it can to absolve motorists of their crimes (too many to mention just for those crimes against people on bikes!) but when it's a person on a bike they use any tactic they can including using flawed/concocted evidence and incorrect charging based on the law itself and never stick to the same principles as applied to motorists?

Why is this obvious discrimination allowed to happen?

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gaz
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby gaz » 1 Aug 2019, 5:45pm

slowster wrote:As it is, the law has served its usefulness and probably should be repealed to stop police and the CPS being caught out like in this case, with reliance instead on careless driving. Arguments about mobile phone use not being careless driving would not stand up in court - the Highway Code already states "You MUST NOT use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device" and that should prevent any such defence arguments.

Err, the Highway Code states "MUST NOT" because there is an underlying legal requirement. Repeal the law and the best the HC could offer is SHOULD NOT.

BTW it's this: The Road Vehicles (Construction and Use) (Amendment) (No. 4) Regulations 2003
Hand wash only. Do not iron.

slowster
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby slowster » 1 Aug 2019, 7:10pm

gaz wrote:Err, the Highway Code states "MUST NOT" because there is an underlying legal requirement. Repeal the law and the best the HC could offer is SHOULD NOT.

You are right, my mistake. This just shows the problem that is created by introducing specific precise legislation regarding mobile phone use rather than robust and active enforcement of the law against careless driving generally (including prosecuting the use of mobile phones as careless driving).

If you try to frame a precise law for technology like smartphones, it will only be a matter of time before technological advances will create a loophole for lawyers to seek to exploit. The scope for new technology to be used without being hand held is only going to increase, especially while driving. Just because it is not hand held does not make it safe or less of a distraction for the driver.

Bonefishblues
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby Bonefishblues » 1 Aug 2019, 9:34pm

Not sure it shows that at all tbh. The relationship between the law and Highway Code is well established, and in the main well known, including by the Sun in their article cited earlier.

pwa
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby pwa » 13 Aug 2019, 9:42am

BAN HANDS FREE CALLS IN THE CAR. What a strident headline, one that many of us will welcome. I personally have never been in any doubt that all phone calls while driving are a really bad idea, whether or not hands are involved. Now a committee of MPs has come to the same conclusion. Better late than never, I suppose. And that strident headline dominates the front page of The Daily Mail. Yes, the Daily Mail. See it on the BBC News site. I have heard it said the DM is not what it once was and this seems to add further evidence of that.

Psamathe
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby Psamathe » 13 Aug 2019, 10:08am

pwa wrote:BAN HANDS FREE CALLS IN THE CAR. What a strident headline, one that many of us will welcome. I personally have never been in any doubt that all phone calls while driving are a really bad idea, whether or not hands are involved. Now a committee of MPs has come to the same conclusion. Better late than never, I suppose. And that strident headline dominates the front page of The Daily Mail. Yes, the Daily Mail. See it on the BBC News site. I have heard it said the DM is not what it once was and this seems to add further evidence of that.

I would agree but there are big technical and other issues about such a law.

For example, I always use my phone whilst driving - it connects through Bluetooth to my car radio and streams music (i.e. as a music player) and the car radio controls the iPhone (next track, previous track, pause, volume, etc.). But to do that it always also connects as a hands free device so if I got a call (which in practice never happens) it automatically goes hands-free through the car radio. To use the phone for streaming music (which is reasonable) you cannot disable the handsfree.

Also, given how there is no enforcement for the current law, I suspect it would be impossible to enforce any laws against hands free use. Only way I culd see anybody actually getting caught would be after a serious accident where the Police look at the phone records and find a call in progress when the accident occurred (provided they have the exact time of the accident, etc.).

But, what if you have a passenger in the car - who is to say that it was not the passenger talking on the hands free.

I agree about how even hands free likely distracts the driver's attention but I can't see this proposed law helping much.

Ian

pwa
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby pwa » 13 Aug 2019, 10:12am

Psamathe wrote:
pwa wrote:BAN HANDS FREE CALLS IN THE CAR. What a strident headline, one that many of us will welcome. I personally have never been in any doubt that all phone calls while driving are a really bad idea, whether or not hands are involved. Now a committee of MPs has come to the same conclusion. Better late than never, I suppose. And that strident headline dominates the front page of The Daily Mail. Yes, the Daily Mail. See it on the BBC News site. I have heard it said the DM is not what it once was and this seems to add further evidence of that.

I would agree but there are big technical and other issues about such a law.

For example, I always use my phone whilst driving - it connects through Bluetooth to my car radio and streams music (i.e. as a music player) and the car radio controls the iPhone (next track, previous track, pause, volume, etc.). But to do that it always also connects as a hands free device so if I got a call (which in practice never happens) it automatically goes hands-free through the car radio. To use the phone for streaming music (which is reasonable) you cannot disable the handsfree.

Also, given how there is no enforcement for the current law, I suspect it would be impossible to enforce any laws against hands free use. Only way I culd see anybody actually getting caught would be after a serious accident where the Police look at the phone records and find a call in progress when the accident occurred (provided they have the exact time of the accident, etc.).

But, what if you have a passenger in the car - who is to say that it was not the passenger talking on the hands free.

I agree about how even hands free likely distracts the driver's attention but I can't see this proposed law helping much.

Ian

Yes, the technical challenges of implementation are formidable.

Pete Owens
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby Pete Owens » 13 Aug 2019, 2:06pm

Psamathe wrote:For example, I always use my phone whilst driving - it connects through Bluetooth to my car radio and streams music (i.e. as a music player) and the car radio controls the iPhone (next track, previous track, pause, volume, etc.). But to do that it always also connects as a hands free device so if I got a call (which in practice never happens) it automatically goes hands-free through the car radio. To use the phone for streaming music (which is reasonable) you cannot disable the handsfree.

But the reason you were able to purchace and install such an arrangement in the first place is because the way the law is written to prohibit using hand held phones, rather than simply phones. That law created a market for hands free devices to bypass it.
Also, given how there is no enforcement for the current law, I suspect it would be impossible to enforce any laws against hands free use. Only way I culd see anybody actually getting caught would be after a serious accident where the Police look at the phone records and find a call in progress when the accident occurred (provided they have the exact time of the accident, etc.).

Which is the way drink driving laws are enforced. We don't have alcohol monitors in cars, and unless you are driving extremely erratically or involved in a crash you are unlikely to be tested.
But, what if you have a passenger in the car - who is to say that it was not the passenger talking on the hands free.

The passenger might be reluctant to do jail time for perverting the course of justice.

Psamathe
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby Psamathe » 13 Aug 2019, 2:48pm

Pete Owens wrote:
Psamathe wrote:For example, I always use my phone whilst driving - it connects through Bluetooth to my car radio and streams music (i.e. as a music player) and the car radio controls the iPhone (next track, previous track, pause, volume, etc.). But to do that it always also connects as a hands free device so if I got a call (which in practice never happens) it automatically goes hands-free through the car radio. To use the phone for streaming music (which is reasonable) you cannot disable the handsfree.

But the reason you were able to purchace and install such an arrangement in the first place is because the way the law is written to prohibit using hand held phones, rather than simply phones. That law created a market for hands free devices to bypass it.
Also, given how there is no enforcement for the current law, I suspect it would be impossible to enforce any laws against hands free use. Only way I culd see anybody actually getting caught would be after a serious accident where the Police look at the phone records and find a call in progress when the accident occurred (provided they have the exact time of the accident, etc.).

Which is the way drink driving laws are enforced. We don't have alcohol monitors in cars, and unless you are driving extremely erratically or involved in a crash you are unlikely to be tested.
But, what if you have a passenger in the car - who is to say that it was not the passenger talking on the hands free.

The passenger might be reluctant to do jail time for perverting the course of justice.

The thing with all the built-in hands-free into the vast numbers of existing car radios is that such a new law banning hands free would in effect make a large proportion of car radios illegal (in that you cannot stop people calling you on many handsets). Whether or not the law created the market, the market was created and the manufacturers responded as there are a lot of such car radios fitted into vehicles.

Re: passengers, point being that call records should somebody have an accident cannot be used to prove the driver was talking using a hands free on a phone. So it becomes difficult to enforce. e.g. there is an accident, police check the mobile company phone call records, find your phone was in use but reality is, if there were passengers in the car they prove nothing (maybe it really was the passenger talking on the phone - I used to do that a fair bit when driving to meetings with sales people - I'd take over the call and write stuff down because I was passenger). But they do add significantly to the workload of the Police where for minor accidents they have to start requesting mobile phone company records .... But mobile phone records don't actually show much anyway with Facetime, Skype, Telegraph, Signal, WhatsApp, etc.

Personally I agree that talking on the phone whilst driving with a hands-free device is a distraction and my opinion is that it makes the driver/vehicle more dangerous. But given that existing laws created the markets for so many installed devices some of which cannot easily be disabled, making such a law and enforcing it would probably not help a great deal.

That said, iPhones do have an automatic "driving" mode where the phone can be set to automatically respond to an incoming call sending back a text e.g. "I'm driving but will call you back". I wonder if there would be better ways to address the issue.

Ian

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Mick F
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Re: High Court confirms loophole in mobile phone driving law

Postby Mick F » 14 Aug 2019, 2:09pm

This is a second car with built-in bluetooth phone operation.
Making a receiving calls is easy with just a dab of the thumb on the steering wheel button.

Often made and received calls using them. I must say though, it is a distraction, and many are the times when I've asked the callers to wait and I'd phone them back when convenient to me. Not dangerous at all though, and no more dangerous than telling a child off on the back seat, or arguing with missus, or tuning in the radio or using the TomTom or shoving in a CD or having a general conversation or finding your way round a strange town.
Mick F. Cornwall