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The training HGV and PCV drivers receive through the HGV Training Centre include information about mobile phone usage while driving. We constantly encourage drivers not to use hand-held mobile phones when behind the wheel, both for safety reasons and because it is against the law. One official now wants to make penalties more severe by instituting a mandatory driving ban after being caught using a mobile phone for the second time. As a professional, you cannot afford such a ban.

 

Gloucestershire chief constable Suzette Davenport says that using hand-held mobile phones while driving still poses a serious problem even though the practice was outlawed in the UK in 2003. She says something needs to be done to fundamentally change how drivers perceive the law if policy makers really want to solve the problem.

When the ban was first implemented more than 10 years ago, it came with a £30 fine. The government upped the stakes in 2007 by doubling the fine and adding three penalty points. Finally, things changed a third time to mandate three penalty points and a £100 fine. Davenport says that as stiff as the penalties might be, they are not stiff enough to deter a good number of drivers. She believes an automatic ban would do the trick.

Exactly how long the ban would be has not yet been determined. However, Davenport says that a ban of at least a short amount of time is necessary to get the attention of drivers who still violate the law. As it stands, drivers are only faced with a possible ban if their case goes to court.

Mobile Phones Are Dangerous

It should seem obvious to HGV and PCV drivers that mobile phones are dangerous when used while driving. Yet every year we hear stories of police crackdowns that nab drivers talking on their phones. It should not continue happening. Hands-free phones are allowed under the law as long as using them does not create distraction. The availability of Bluetooth headsets and smartphones is such that there’s no longer any excuse for a driver to be using a hand-held while the vehicle is in motion. It is just that simple.

Bear in mind that it takes just a split second of distraction to cause an accident. Also, do not forget that HGV and PCV drivers operate vehicles with sizes and weights that make them inherently more difficult to control. What could be a minor accident between two passenger vehicles could end up causing serious injuries or loss of life when commercial vehicles are involved.

The HGV Training Centre encourages HGV and PCV drivers to hang up the phone and pay attention to what’s happening on the road. Please do not risk your life, or the lives of other drivers, by illegally using a hand-held mobile phone while you’re driving. The risk is just not worth it.

For more information about training classes, contact our office. We offer HGV and PCV training that is affordable and convenient.

Sources:

  1. UK Fleet News – https://www.fleetnews.co.uk/news/2015/3/2/chief-constable-calls-for-mobile-phone-driving-ban/54985/

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