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Despite enacting laws more than a decade ago to prohibit the use of hand-held smartphones while driving, more than 500,000 drivers in the UK have been convicted of distracted driving involving electronic devices; approximately 6% of all drivers in Britain have six points or more on their licences for such offences. What more can be done to stop this dangerous exercise?

One option is to increase the fines for texting while driving. According to a recent survey from TrackCompare.com, fleet operators think doing so is a great idea. By a margin of 66% to 34%, survey respondents said the fines for texting while driving should be increased.

TrackCompare.com decided to undertake their study after research from the Transport Research Laboratory suggested texting while driving is more dangerous than driving while eating, talking on a smart phone, or after having a few drinks. Texting slows down reaction time significantly and takes eyes off the road for extended periods.

The current fine for texting while driving is a maximum of £1,000. The Ministry of Justice wants to see that raised to £4,000 per offence. There is also talk of banning repeat offenders if the fines do not get their attention enough to cause them to stop. We will have to see what happens.

We would hope that those fleet operators in favour of higher fines are doing their part by way of appropriate corporate driver training within their ranks. It only takes a little investment in regular training and reminder campaigns to keep safety at the forefront of the minds of commercial drivers. When they hear the message on a regular basis, they are less likely to engage in dangerous distracted driving.

We Can Help

The HGV Training Centre can help by providing you and your drivers the regular corporate driver training you need to stay safe. We work with companies of all sizes across the UK, thanks to more than 60 HGV Training locations covering nearly every region of Britain. Our training at every level focuses on safety first.

Corporate driver training can be customised to the needs of your company. Fleet operators and managers can choose from a long list of safety courses designed to keep your drivers up to date on all the current safety regulations and industry concerns. We also offer CPC training for drivers who are not yet certified.

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The HGV Training Centre is proud to be one of the leading names in commercial driver training in the UK. We provide training to both individual drivers and their corporate counterparts, for just about every class of commercial vehicle. Contact us for more information about training for HGVs, PCVs, horseboxes and horsebox trailers, forklifts, and heavy construction equipment.

As always, we encourage our customers and their drivers to obey the law and be safe. Where smartphones are concerned, please do not use them while you are behind the wheel. No conversation is so important that it justifies risking the lives of others.

Sources:

  1. Traffic Safe – http://trafficsafe.org/index.php/uk-anti-distracted-driving-campaign-begins-6917/
  2. HGV UK – http://www.hgvuk.com/07/03/two-thirds-of-fleet-operators-want-texting-fines-increased/

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