Across Britain, drivers are multi tasking at the wheel placing themselves and others around them in dangerous situations. It doesn’t take more than a split second to for the road to change, either traffic to speed up or slow down, for a motorcycle or cyclist to appear, for a pedestrian crossing to emerge, for an adult, child or animal walk, run or fall into the road, so it is absolutely fundamental to keep your eyes on the road and your concentration focused.
No matter how busy drivers are – rushing to work, school or a trip, programming sat navs, applying makeup, using a mobile phone or a multitude of other tasks that take attention away from the road, drivers must find the time to finish and leave behind jobs that should have been done before your journey, leaving the time spent in the car, for driving responsibly.
An RAC survey reported that 31% motorists use hand held phones behind the wheel, 14% taking photos and videos while driving.
Motoring solicitor Matthew Reynolds said that busy schedules have led to drivers playing ‘Russian Roulette’ with their lives, and goes on to say –
“Most people spend their days trying to cram in more than can feasibly done in the given hours. They look to save time where they can – and I have seen many cases in which multi-tasking while sitting in the car has seemed like a time-saving option.
“However, many drivers are simply not aware that their everyday actions, if performed at the same time as operating a vehicle, could constitute an offence. That includes drinking coffee or any other beverage, sending emails, or even changing a CD.”
“’Use’ means to perform some kind of interactive communication function, such as holding a phone while at the wheel,” he explained.
“Dialling a number while driving is unlawful, as is checking emails, sending texts, and certainly taking selfies or posting a status on Facebook.”
“While these actions aren’t an offence in themselves, if you have something in your hand, such as food, drink, lipstick or a razor while driving, you can be prosecuted for not being in proper control of your vehicle,” explained Reynolds.
“In addition, if you are doing any of these things and it affects your driving, you could be convicted of careless or dangerous driving. If you kill or injure anyone because of poor driving, and it is because you were doing any of those things, that would be a significant aggravating feature – hence the recent case which saw Christopher Gard from Alton being sentenced to nine years for causing death by dangerous driving after sending a text immediately prior to the time of the crash.”
“The very act of changing a CD means that one hand has to be taken off the wheel and the driver has to take their eyes off the road,” Reynolds said. “Therefore, it could be argued that in changing a CD you are not in proper control of your vehicle.
“The safest way to protect both yourself and others from getting in trouble with the law and from becoming involved in a road accident is to treat driving as a task in itself, rather than trying to combine it with other jobs.
“The law doesn’t care how busy you are – and sending a quick email while on the move could cost you years in jail.”
There you have it. The Law doesn’t care how busy you are, and the law is in place to keep the roads safe for drivers, their passengers and pedestrians.