GEM: Kill The Conversation, once and for all

Posted on December 3rd, 2013 by GEM Motoring Assist

GEM Motoring Assist is calling on drivers to put their phones away while in the car. To mark the 10th anniversary of the ban on using hand held mobile phones while driving, and in full support of Brake Road Safety’s ‘put it in the boot’ campaign, GEM says it’s time to put the phone down, once and for all. Recent statistics from the Department for Transport show that with reaction times of mobile phone users up to 50% slower, drivers are four times more likely to crash if they use a mobile phone at the wheel. Furthermore, according to research from ROSPA, drivers who use a mobile phone, either hands-free or hand-held:

  • Fail to see road signs
  • Feel more stressed or frustrated
  • Are much less aware of what’s happening on the road
  • Fail to maintain proper lane position and steady speed
  • React more slowly, take longer to brake and longer to stop
  • More likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic

With this in mind, GEM has produced a video to educate drivers on the possible risks, fines and penalties associated with using a mobile phone while driving. Of course, mobile phones are an indispensable part of most people’s lives and are vital for drivers in a breakdown situation where they may need to call on a breakdown service, like GEM Motoring Assist, but GEM’s advice to motorists is simply: switch it off, store it out of reach and focus on the journey. This year, in recognition of the dangers mobile phone use can cause whilst driving, the penalty for being caught using one has increased to a £100 fine, paired with three penalty points. If the case does go to court, the fine could increase to a maximum of £2500 for drivers. In addition, if mobile phone use was found to be an aggravating factor in a road crash, drivers could face the more serious charge of careless or even dangerous driving. David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, comments, “With so many accidents caused by careless drivers using their phone at the wheel, it’s time for this legislation to be taken seriously. The volunteers in our ‘Kill the conversation’ road safety video were all surprised to discover just how dangerous it can be to call or text while driving, which is why we are advising all motorists to turn their phone off when at the wheel to avoid any distraction. Surely no call is as important as the safety of yourself and others while on the road.”