Kill The Conversation… Not Yourself!
Breakdown cover company and road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist launches a
campaign this week to raise awareness of the dangers and penalties motorists can
face when using a mobile phone while driving.
Despite the law being introduced in 2003, a record number of drivers in the UK have been prosecuted for using their mobile phone over the last few years. With research showing that using a mobile phone while driving can make motorists four times more likely to have a crash and reaction times 50% worsethan when driving normally, GEM warns drivers to switch off before setting off.
David Williams, MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist comments, “The temptation to use your mobile phone while driving can be greatly reduced if you turn it off and keep it out of reach. It is very important to keep a mobile phone with you in the car in case of an emergency situation; however it is illegal and dangerous to use a hand-held mobile and it must only be used when you have stopped in a safe place”.
David continues, “Motorists can expect a minimum of three penalty points on their licence, plus fines of £60 if they are caught, however should the
police deem the offence blatant or protracted the driver may be requested to go to court to face a fine as high as £1,000. In addition, should mobile phone use be in any way an aggravating factor in a crash, the driver could be facing a serious charge of careless or even dangerous driving”.
Extending its campaign to include advice on mobile phone courtesy when around others or in sensitive places, GEM has joined forces with the National Campaign for Courtesy to encourage more politeness through the creation of a courtesy code for mobile phone use.
Peter Foot, National Chairman of the Campaign for Courtesy comments, “When you are out and about in places such as theatres, restaurants, trains and tubes, libraries, art galleries and many more, it is important to respect others when using your mobile phone. It is easy enough to do if we follow a few simple rules and, not only shows good manners, but also makes situations more comfortable and pleasant for our fellow citizens”.
The Courtesy Code
• Keep your voice down! Shouting is not necessary
• Speak quietly in public spaces such as buses or trains
• Try and text or email your communication to avoid speech that may disturb others
• Never leave your mobile on a table or desk at a meeting or restaurant, even when it is on vibrate
• When playing electronic games, switch off the sound
• Never hold a phone conversation whilst carrying out another task
David concludes, “When GEM was founded back in 1932, Care, Courtesy and Concentration was the organisation’s slogan and after nearly 80 years these principals remain extremely important today”.