If you drive carefully past a speed camera, adhering to the speed limit and think you are safe, then you might be wrong. Most of us don’t realise that those big yellow boxes can do a lot more than just register our speed and send information that gets us a speeding ticket. But just what are their full abilities?
The offence camera
The speed camera should rightly be called the offence camera because it can record many offences other than just speeding. They include not wearing your seatbelt, using a mobile phone while driving and even having illegal number plates.
According to statistics for the north east of England, between August 2015 and November 2015 there were a total of nearly 700 drivers who were caught for not wearing a seatbelt through a speed camera. This is an offence that does seem bizarre – not only is it the law to wear one but they can also save your life if you are involved in an accident.
(Credit – Elliott Brown)
Speed camera spotting
Another big problem is the use of mobile phones while driving. To highlight how serious it can be, the fine was increased to £200 in March this year and now comes with six points on the license if you are caught.
Now you can be caught by speed cameras when on your mobile phone and receive a fine just the same as you would if you were spotted by a police officer. This also includes mobile speed cameras which are now recording a range of other offences in the same way as the stationary version.
The most common device used for mobile speed cameras, that can record various information, is the LTI 20.20 UltraLyte 1000. This device uses a laser linked directly to a DVD system that is running the whole time that the enforcement is in operation. It can collect an image from cars up to 1000 metres away and includes information such as the time, date, speed, distance, site coding and whether the vehicle was travelling towards or away from the camera. This is all detailed on the image of the driver.
The mobile phone problem
The reason for the higher penalties and the use of speed cameras to catch drivers using a phone behind the wheel is because it remains a huge problem. In one crackdown last November, police caught around 40 drivers per hour on their mobile phones, handing out 7966 fixed penalty notices during a one-week long campaign.
This was an increase on previous periods of enforcement on ‘distraction driving’ where a crackdown had been in place. In May 2016, they had caught 2323 drivers, in September 2015 the figure was 2276 and in May 2015, the number of drivers caught was 2690.
During the same period, where 36 forces around the county participated, there were also hundreds of verbal warnings issued along with 68 court summonses and 117 other ‘distraction’ offences noted. The figures were part of the reason why the new fines and points system was brought in the following March.
Mobile phone law
The current law on mobile phone states that it is illegal to drive a vehicle and use a hand held mobile phone or a similar device. It is also illegal to supervise a learner driver while using a mobile. The definition of ‘driving’ is also one to watch – you are driving if you have the engine running so merely pulling into a layby without turning the engine off won’t save you from a fine. Stopping at traffic lights also still counts as driving. You can use a hands-free kit but if you are shown to be not in ‘proper control’ of the vehicle while using it, you can be prosecuted.
With speed cameras now doubling as mobile phone use detectors, it is worth really thinking hard about how urgent that call is. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below
A complete ban should solve the problem, but it is too easy to do that so instead, as usual, they keep on with fines
Where there is crime there is fine opportunities and increase in revenues, it also adds to the New Year Police Party collection.
Do you not agree that if you do something illegal, you should be fined for it? And sorry to let the facts get in the way of a good story, but revenue from traffic fines goes to the Treasury, not to the police.
I reply to leslie,it is illegal to use a mobile phone ,when driving,so all we need is people to ad hear to the law,and problem would be solved ? Yes!
Ummm listen out for adverts regarding legal stuff and which is the best detergent to use. Sounds good to me!
It’s not illegal to use a phone, only hand held, and what’s the difference to talking to a passenger, or are we going to be fined for talking now. Another point, is it illegal to use a radio in a vehicle
Its quite simple really- fit a short distance jammer into every new car ECU. When engine running, ECU jams unless you’re on Bluetooth. Simples! Will it happen? No – too easy.
Did not know this . Great idea. Still see hundreds of idiots using their handhelds.
Sorry if this offends, Phil, but where have you been if you didn’t know about this. May i respectfully suggest you get your head out of your ass, pay attention and re read the highway code, from cover to cover. Assuming you have read it at all.
Your comments offend me on behalf of Phil, why jump to such an agressive tone, without reading Phil’s comments more carefully? You appear to assume that he isn’t aware that mobile phone use is illegal (the only possible excuse for your tone), but I take the entirely more logical interpretation that he wasn’t aware speed cameras could detect this offence, making your comments totally unjustified.
I actually think Phil was stating he wasn’t aware that I phones now have a mode which stops texts and calls whilst driving. It will however allow calls if you are hands free.
That is also how I took it – the iPhone feature being the “Great idea” referred to. Mind you, keeping your existing mobile in your pocket and ignoring it is cheaper than buying an iPhone to get a “don’t use the phone” function.
My last 2 android phones have had call blocking ‘driving mode’ available, and failing that, there are many app’s out there to do the same thing.
I don’t use the feature myself, as I have built in hands free, but even with that, my car is set to auto answer phone calls and announce that I am driving. I am then left with the choice of picking up the call myself, or leaving it on hold till I pull over, decide if it’s safe to talk, or I can hang up. (This isn’t exactly a state of the art brand new car either, it’s just a 2009 Renault Coupe)
I wouldn’t mind betting that half of the people holding their phones in vehicles while driving, also actually have hands free fitted, or built in, and either don’t know how to use it, or are to retarded to know its even there.
Agreed. Don’t think you’ll find that info in the Highway Code!
The simple answer/response is DON’T DO ANYTHING that you wouldn’t do if a Driving Examiner was sitting beside you during a Driving Test.
That includes picking your nose or scratching your Arse to reach your brains.
I always though people had a brain not brains , start scratching
Yes, the tone of your comment is offensive.
Sorry BobJ, hope this doesn’t offend, Think you may be a bit simple.
Sometimes simple is best
Add some detergent it would run smoother lol!
Phil needs to make proper use of joined-up English if he hopes to avoid being mis-understood.. So far we have at least 3 different interpretations of his “Did not know this.” Phil, please quantify your “this.” It’s way too vague.
Yes I agree with Lesley you should lose your licence all together if caught
I have witnessed several drivers on mobile phones, either talking, or in my opinion even worse is looking down texting whilst driving very erratically. In my opinion it should be an instant ban; there are already too many injuries and deaths caused by drivers not paying attention to their surroundings.
What needs to be fitted to vehicles is a signal blocker that operates when the engine is running. Just imagine quiet buses.
this sounds like a good idea ~ and presumably quite simple to implement with today’s technology.
Modern cars currently do all sorts of things automatically (like cutting off the power to the fuel pump) as soon as an airbag is triggered. There’s no reason why a system such as this couldn’t piggy-back off that existing architecture. However, there are circumstances (e.g. lone woman being followed) where it might be more dangerous to stop to make a call.
The trouble is my satnav uses a mobile phone sim to update traffic information, so that wouldn’t work either 🙁 A £10,000 fine and a lifetime driving ban would be better.
Why are you holding your sat nav in your hand while driving?
Richard… Paul was probably referring to the signal blocker mentioned earlier.. The blocker would also block some Sat Nav’s
Signal blockers are illegal in this country and most others as well as they are unlicenced radio transmitters. The are indiscriminate in that the emitted jamming signal does not just stay within the area you wish to jam and will affect anyone in the proximity. Also, general availability would lead to them being used in other areas such as buildings where you may wish to deny phone access ( kids bedrooms at night etc.) This then could easily jam a neighbours phone….
Please dont say it could be made illegal to use them anywhere other that a vehicle; that would be just insanely ironic.
I would not like to be trapped in an upside-down car with petrol all around and not be able to call for help because of the ‘signal blocker’
You would still be commuting an offence and entitled to the fine and points if you didnt turn your engine off.
No there is an exception for emergencies. I’m sure everyone who comments here has an emergency hammer in their car they can access, even upside down? Round where I live being inverted in one of the many drains will be fatal very quickly.
I think if your car was upside down. Your engine would have stalled… hence no call blocker.
More to the point, if you had petrol all around you, then the last thing you would want to do is make a phone call as there’s a very high chance that the petrol would ignite as a result, hence the reason it’s illegal to make a phone call whilst refuelling your vehicle at a filling station.
No there’s not, its infinitessimally small. The story was put about because analogue phones interfered with petrol pump electronics
Just because a demonstrable event hasn’t yet happened, there is a very small possibility of the the RF energy inducing a voltage that causes a spark. As a qualified and experienced RF engineer in the areas of aircraft, electronic warfare, radar and communications of many years I can speak with some authority here. Also mobile phones are not intrinsically safe.
Add to this that the phone manufacturers prohibit their use in such areas (arse covering yes, but still puts the blame on you is anything happens) and you can see why the rules are there.
No, this makes no sense. If there were a genuine risk – for which there is no evidence, as referenced above – then the requirement would be to turn mobiles off, not simply not to make calls. Otherwise receiving and not answering a call would be just as dangerous. It is outdated scaremongering.
A mobile phone signal will not be a cause of fire. The ionising energy of a mobile phone signal is far too low to cause ignition of the vapour. Test have been carried out using similar frequncies at far greater power levels with no ill effects.
No, this has been disproven many times. The mobile device is not powerful enough to create the spark to ignite the petrol vapour, the combustible element.
In fact, every time someone has been involved in a flash ignition while filming their car, for example, it has always been because of static electronic earthing to the car chassis and not, as was believed, a spark from a mobile phone.
I can provide references.
As proved by the “Mythbusters” team
Using a phone will NOT ignite petrol or the fumes.
The answer is drive more carefully. That will usually mean that you avoid finding yourself upside down. The signal blocker could be disabled once the engine is switched off or the car is stationary. So if you have a breakdown and are still the right way up you can call the emergency services or the RAC/ AA.
It does have the option to turn off if you try to use the phone – it asks if you’re driving or not, so doesn’t disable it completely. Therefore still usable if you’re or passenger or in an emergency.
Have you never heard that a mobile transmission can cause a explosion, that’s why they are banned in petrol stations.
You would probably blow yourself up if you used your phone in the situation you describe
With petrol all around your phone call may well cause an explosion and I doubt that you would have time to make a call before the fuel caught fire.
Not practical as it would stop passengers using their mobiles – and thats not an offence.
Surely that would just make the bus more noisy as people would have to actually talk to each other!
I think the latest Apple phones can have a block activated.
The latest Apple update did include this. I have used it a couple of times myself the couple of times that I have driven. I would highly recommend using it as no call is worth loosing your life.
Some android phones can also be set to detect when you are driving and switch off the phone function. Personally I feel I am grown up enough to make that decision myself.
You and I may be but many are not
It’s a very good idea and blocks use of the phone (incoming calls included). The trouble is, if you have the block turned on all the time it cant differentiate whether you’re a car passenger or not, or a passenger on a bus or train.
I would dearly welcome a block on all phones on all forms of transport!
Yes that’s correct. The block is available on all models from the 5se and above
Great idea but some people use the phones sat nav for driving, I think if there was an annoying warning like with the seat belt somehow?
Twice in the last couple of months I’ve pulled up behind young women who were actually FaceTiming or Skypeing whilst driving!
My car was actually hit (whilst stationary in queuing traffic) by a young woman who got out of the car and told me “sorry, my friend was showing me something and I could not stop”. Facebooking while your friend is using the phone should be banned too!
The same applies to blokes as well especially white van Charlie.
The only problem with an instant ban is, if they’re a driver they’re now out of of a job & on the dole! how do they pay their fine then? Make it an instant compulsory £1000 fine then watch the figures drop!
Take Alistair Stewart from Police, Camera, Action. gets done for Drink driving, he gets a little fine & it gets hushed up, he could have killed someone like he goes on about but no he keeps his job! poor old Angus Deyton with a little coke & a tart in a hotel, no chance of hurting anyone loses his job never to be heard of again, wheres the justice? we liked Angus, at least he was funny!
I agree wholeheartedly!
Newer iPhones allow you to switch on a driving mode, effectively stopping their use when moving. Well done Apple.
With regards mobile phone.
I love the ‘do not disturb while driving’ feature on my iPhone.
I think this is such a clever update from Apple.
Yes, it can be by-passed (should only be if you are a passenger obviously).
But it automatically activated when it senses you are driving and stops any calls or texts coming through and the sender gets a message to tell them you are driving and will receive the message when you arrive at the destination. (I haven’t noticed how long you need to be stationary for, for it to deactivate).
But either way, I think it’s a great idea and definitely a step in the right direction!
My iphone had the same feature before the law came into force, its just a bt more updated really.
Totally agree – it takes away the temptation to even look at your phone when driving. Great feature, which I am sure will reduce accidents. Doesn’t Android have a similar feature?
This is a great feature but only active on a Bluetooth connection. I nearly always have my phone connect via USB to charge and this system doesn’t apply. Apple should make it active on all connections with an opt out available on connection if you are a passenger.
Stuart, you’re wrong. Look in iPhone > Settings > Do Not Disturb and scroll to the bottom and read how it works. Bluetooth is one option but not the default. The phone automatically detects if you’re driving by default – but I’m prepared to admit this may only be on later iPhones which include the motion chip. If you have an older one maybe it’s different.
You should lose your licence straight away for using phone whilst driving,and no excuse it will affect ability to do job,so lorry drivers beware
You are so correct Richard, professional drivers such as van drivers and lorry drivers seem to be under the impression that this law does not apply to them, they appear to do it so blatantly.
If they were mindful “professional drivers” who needed to be on the phone for their business, then they would have a hands-free device
Yes, the same should apply if you touch your radio or CD player, or turn around to shout at your kids in the back, or have a dog jumping & barking all over the place. All these things have the ability to distract the driver & should carry the same penalties.
Suggest therefore the driver to be cocooned inside a sound and vision proof box with no screens or heater controls or any switches etc,to avoid distractions. This could be signal proofed very easily. Better still automate the driving function, and return to sanity!
What a pair of horsenecks!!
Richard, may I call you dick?
What is needed is more enforcement combined with a high-profile TV, Radio and Press campaign to make the use of mobile phones whilst driving, as socially unacceptable as drink and drug driving. That leaves the evil texter-drivers who should automatically lose their driving licence for 12 months and spend 14 days in jail. That will have a serious deterrent effect.
The Jimmy Savile headed advert was very effective with the CLUNK – CLICK during the introductory period of seat belts being fitted into cars and car derived vans.
The rather shocking posters that depicted a Coffin with Roses on top that declared DON’T LET THIS BE YOUR CHRISTMAS BOX really did offend people of the time but I do think that it fulfilled the aim.
Just a full sized cardboard cutout of Jimmy Saville saying Jim’ll Fix It would do the the trick lol
Or was it Dunk-Dick?
Now then now then
Should lose their licence and made sit a new driving test. I agree with everything you have stated apart from the licence. Which I think is a stronger detergent.
All in favour of stronger ‘detergents’
Oh definitely how about DAZ or maybe even a repellent!
This is the case for new drivers within the first two years. Many have lost their licence for using their phone. Six points and licence gone!
How does the six points work? is it applied if a new license is obtained, after taking the test again? I think this should apply to all drivers whether 2 years or however many years. In my opinion that would put a full stop to using a mobile phone/device while driving. Seems to be the people who do this,think that they are special. I also don’t think that sitting in a lay-by using your phone with the engine running, should not be classed as driving.
quite agree the vehicle is not moving
frank – vehicle doesn’t have to be moving for an offence to be committed. Always switch off ignition in lay-bys as well.
zarabanda my friend, zarabanda!!
Been through a drive thru? Remember never to pay with any app based payment like Android Pay because you’re committing an offence of using a mobile whilst driving. The law in an ass and common sense about definitions of words is ludicrous.
No, a drive-through is not a public highway and this law (like lots of other driving laws) is not applicable.
However the health benefits of not using a takeaway drive-through always apply.
Many of the laws applicable on public highways are also applicable in car parks where the public have access, such as ignoring no entry signs in a supermarket car park. So you could well be commitiing an offence by using the mobile phone.
I always turn mine off if I am driving, the passenger can use theirs but not the driver.
Not yet on a PUBLIC ROAD.
I switch my car off at the drive thru window
Indeed no point in sitting there wasting fuel.
Just turn the engine off Paul. And handbrake up in case an Ass behind you is on the phone. The law is common sense.
Drive throughs are not public highway so are not included.
DRIVETHROUGHS ARE PUBLIC ROADS. i would check your comment as that info is all over the internet. i know because i got a warning as well over it. i checked and to my astonishment its true. also leaving a child inside a car while you go to the kiosk to pay is illegal as well. surprising but true.
The joy of predictive text.
If only those phones could be washed into the boot.
Want the evidence to disappear? Use Vanish: even police say it’s the stongest detergent …
Problem in this country theres no deterrent at all to crimes…
I think the trouble is people think they won’t get caught!
With so few police in this country people dont “think” they wont get caught, they are almost certain they wont get caught.
How about adding confiscation of a vehicle for a period of time to the fine and points… plus charges for storage of the vehicle?
If only drug driving WAS treated seriously. Until very recently the police prosecuted very very few drivers who use drugs and even now the level of prosecutions bears little relationship to the number of young motorists who openly admit to using cannabis regularly.
Why is it assumed that a driver high on drugs is not such a danger as a driver who has consumed more than a couple of pints ?
Driving with Drugs or Alcohol is far worse than using a Mobile apart from Texting.
However Police are exempt from talking on there Radio’s & in my view the government should show what the money is used for.
The exception for police radios also applies to CB radio and taxis. They can drop their radio microphone if they need to and they certainly don’t have their hand on their ear.
As a licenced radio ham I can similarly use a radio transceiver. One of the recommendations of the Radio Society of Great Britain is to fit a hands free microphone.
i remember the vox microphone very clearly was a useful thing whilst driving and using 2way radio. CB and ham, (had both licenses) but a phone requires you look at it and most people instinctively don’t drop their phones, a cb mike i routinely dropped if the need arose because they are much stronger and don’t break at the slightest knock. hands free mikes where a good thing………as for taxies and police you have to use the mike when driving (dangerous passengers) emergencies etc etc.
Why can’t you drop a mobile phone when you have to? At least with a mobile, you don’t need to press a button to talk!
I know a person who smokes weed all day every day, Whos reaction times are very very slow He drives most days, He can flare up at very little, A temper unbeliveable to see .Much over the top! A lot worse than a fool on the phone.
As much as these cameras are a scourge on motorists I totally agree that use of mobiles whilst driving must be discouraged
Anyone caught texting or reading text whilst driving should have a driving ban imposed upon conviction.
Step up policing, put more police on our streets and lets personalise the law. Cameras have no discretion and are seen as draconian.
Bring back the bobbies who, in my experience have always been fair and discerning.
It’s the amount of drivers I see txting (whilst driving slowly or erratically) which astounds me. How can anyone think they are in control of a vehicle whilst doing that.
Nah, not driving slowly..txting whilst weaving across lanes on a motorway, now there’s a skill. As I saw recently on the A1M south bound near Newcastle.
I have no problem with cameras catching drivers speeding when it is dangerous, using phones at any time or those who think seat belt laws are incidental. I’d actually like more of them out there.
Me too. And @ Phil, the scourge is the stupid drivers not the camerasc
WHATS GOOD FOR THE GOOSE IS GOOD FOR THE GANDER,ie police use of the 2 way radios while on the move,over and over police have thier radios clipped to a shoulder strap and need to operate it by hand, SO LETS SEE THEM DONE THE SAME AS OTHER DRIVERS.
Well said police think they are above the law and same goes for taxi drivers
You’re forgetting that police drivers are far more highly trained than the rest of us.
Improved technology will only serve to increase revenue but will not solve the problem. If they had the death penalty for dropping litter multiple executions would take place every day.
They’re not called Speed Cameras, they’re clearly called Safety Cameras, this came to light about a decade ago.
Depends where you are in the country some are marked as safety cameras and others are marked as speed cameras. I they can catch people using mobile phones then brilliant.
Otherwise know as cash machines, only 5% of rta’s are speed related. I was unfortunate enough to witness a fatality right under a speed camera, bottom line is they do not save lives.
CASH CASH CASH is all the powers that be are interested in getting. They massage the figures to suit their aims. If you believe them, then you are all stupid.
Easy to avoid paying out to the cameras though isn’t it? Pay attention and don’t drive outside the law.
While technically correct I would refer the honourable gentleman to the picture at the top of this article…
In fact they are all revenue collection cameras, and should be known as such.
Revenue collection cameras/cash cows? All nonsense. They only collect money from people who do not like to obey the rules. Same reason we have those damn speed humps all over the place.
GATSO – Get Another Tenner Sent Over
as “speed cameras ” work by taking pictures when you are over the speed limit HOW do they catch you if you drive past not wearing a seat belt or on the phone driving at the correct speed?
In this digital age many are ANPR cameras and record every vehicle that passes, irrespective. As to HOW they recognise no seatbelt in use or mobile phone use I have no idea – but great IF they do.
Camera vans use video cameras with still images being taken from them when the S172 is submitted to court.
I don’t get the reason behind it being illegal to stop to sort out your communication if the engine is running ? If you have stopped surely that is a very clear indication that you have no intention of using a mobile whilst moving. If you are at traffic lights or road works then yes clearly you are still driving but if parked ‘off’ the road then you are not.
Being in charge of the vehicle is the law and the issue. Engine needs to be off, keys out of the ignition (where possible) and static. If the engine is running or ignition ‘on’ then the vehicle is said to be running and anyone in the driver’s seat is in charge of it. Not a discussion, just the law.
What if you leave the car running, in case it wont start again, and stand outside to make that call?
It is an offence to leave any vehicle with the engine running. This was introduced as many old cars may slip into gear and move off causing an accident. Today under Rule 123 of the Highway Code “You must not leave a vehicle engine running unnecessarily while that vehicle is stationary on a public road.” And doing this can incur a £20 fixed-penalty fine under the Road Traffic (Vehicle Emissions) Regulations 2002
You are absolutely right about the law, but I seriously wonder if there has EVER been a case of an old car ‘slipping into gear’ and moving off! Seems you’d need to have a poltergeist inside the car to make that happen!
ALSO the handbrake would have to be OFF..
Hand brakes are not designed to stop an engine with the gears engaged, which may be why it used to be called the parking brake.
Unfortunately many manufacturers still eroneously call it a ‘Parking’ brake – which it is not. It is for use whenever the vehicle is stationary for more than a few seconds.
So freeze in your car if stuck in a wintertime traffic jam. THE LAW IS AN ASS. The road ahead may not be opened again for several hours if there has been a serious accident.
Don’t think you understand the meaning of the expression ’The law is an ass’. It means that The law is a sort of beast of burden, having to carry all manner of different loads or situations. It certainly does not mean that the law is stupid!
It means the law is an idiot. As Mr Bumble says in Oliver Twist: “If the law supposes that… the law is a ass — a idiot.”
I don’t think you’ve read your Dickens. “If the law supposes that,” said Mr. Bumble, squeezing his hat emphatically in both hands, “the law is a ass — a idiot.”. But while it may appear stupid, the law has to cater for the lowest common denominator – that is to say, the stupidest person who drives a car. And just reading through the comments section in PetrolPrices should be enough to make one realise that there are plenty of lowest common denominators around.
No, it’s nothing to do with “in case the vehicle slips into gear”, it’s to do with emissions (hence being in the vehicle EMISSIONS regulations)!
Thats ok in summer but you try sitting in a taxi cab ranked up in the middle of winter for a couple of hours waiting for a fare without running the engine & you will soon start the engine or freeze you nuts off.
Why sit there for ours waiting for a fare?
The law states you should not leave a vehicle with the engine running when outside the vehicle….
change the law then!!!!
If your handbrake is applied you are in full control of the vehicle. You may want to keep the engine running, e.g., to keep warm.
But most drivers don’t even apply the handbrake when stopped in a queue at traffic lights. The idiots prefer to blind the driver behind them with their brake lights and then when they move off the poor driver behind can’t see clearly for a short while.
it’s these stupid electric handbrakes, such a pain to use!! Bring back the old simple ones please
I’m sorry Steve C but i disagree with you on that one, while at lights i engage electric brake then when ready take power and the brake releases, which saves me rolling back or sitting with my foot on the brake pedal and giving the driver behind a face full of red light(especially night time)
Lots of people confuse “hill hold” with “electric parking brake”. Many cars will use the ABS pump to hold the pressure in the brake lines after the driver’s foot is removed from the brake, until he sets off again. (Not all of them, some only hold it for a couple of seconds). That’s “hill hold”. The electric parking brake is something you deliberately need to engage (unless you switch the engine off, or undo your seat belt or open a door – in which case, it will probably apply itself automatically). As Joe says, it usually disengages automatically when you move off.
Two friends and someone I know casually has had these bloody things jam on! Technology for its own sake imho.
The idiot behind probably ones not realise he is behind an automatic car, and the brake lights are on because a foot is on the brake pedal!!
Don’t automatics have handbrakes? Is it such a problem to take the car out of drive when stopped at the lights?
Or the driver is using a modern tech. piece of kit called hill hold which also leaves the brake lights on.
Such features should be illegal as they don’t comply with Rule 114. They may be legal elsewhere but should not be in the UK.
I’ve driven auto’s for 25 years – with ALL of them… handbrake, neutral, you DON’T need to sit with your foot on the brake!! If the hill is really steep, you can leave it in gear, or put it in park.
I am fortunate, my car has a handbrake that I can apply while stationary even at traffic lights, so that I am not dazzling the driver behind who has chosen to be so close to my rear.
The idiot in front should put it in park and take his foot off the brake!
Auto or not, if the wait is for more than a few seconds it should be in neutral with the handbrake on. If absolutly necessary, keep the foot brake on until someone has pulled up behind you, THEN GET OFF THE FOOT BRAKE! It is even worse since the 3rd, eye level brake lights were introduced.
But you should still obey Rule 114 and apply the handbrake – it’s not just a ‘parking’ brake.
I think the point AI B and Anthony Kaye were making is that parked off the road should make it ok, and in traffic whether stopped or not is not ok – running the engine shouldn’t make a difference. Obviously it gets easier to comply with new stop/start technology 🙂
Colin, you have just described my absolute pet hate!
Well said Colin. This irritates me everytime
Such bad drivers are ignoring Rule 114 of the Highway Code and should be penalised.
Mike, that Highway Code rule is a ‘should’ not a ‘must’.
Colin, not everyone drives a manual transmission car.
A Public flogging might help deter folk from using their mobiles whilst driving…no other penalty seems to be 100% affective!
Wrong : let’s have a firing squad on standby every 1/2 mile, handling that stuff swiftly on the spot is the only real detergent 🙂 … Even better : how about a heavy machine gun mounted on top of a half track stationed at every roundabout in the country, how about that ! Sounds a bit “Nazi” doesn’t it ?
I use the drivesmart pro I got off of the offer here and it’s great no more tickets for me!!!
I think they should have a 6 month ban and there pictures put on social media
In many ways good, but how does anybody determine from a photo if a cars engine is running or not? Some cars4532n turn the engine off when they are not moving e.g. at Traffic lights so are you driving or not under those circumstances.
That’s a really good point Ron if the legal technicality of the engine running is what determines whether or not an offence has been committed. My husband’s car has a stop-start engine, but mine doesn’t so, technically, I could more likely find myself guilty of committing such an offence in a queue of traffic than my husband. Actually, I should quickly point out two things here: (a) we both have hands-free, but (b) I’ve had this functionality in my 5yr old car since buying it and have never made or received a call behind the wheel – I would no more speak to someone on the phone whilst driving than fly to the moon. I simply don’t get people’s obsession with their phones – mine sits in my handbag on the floor behind my seat where I can’t reach it. I love driving and don’t want that enjoyment interrupted by any extraneous activity.
It’s not rocket science. The ‘engine running’ exemption is spurious. When stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic you are not ‘safely parked’.
Better still, switch off your phone whilst driving. What is so important that can’t wait until you have parked? Hands up who owns a phone without an off button?
You are still in charge of the vehicle, so it would be an offence.
Going down the M1 we came up behind a car in the outside lane doing 60mph, nothing in front of him & nothing in the nearside lanes, cars getting frustrated & passing on inside, we pulled alongside & saw the idiot was on his phone. He stayed like that for several miles holding up the M1. I’m not racist or I would have said he was an Asian guy.
If your not doing anything wrong and abiding by the law you have nothing to fear about the safety cameras. The law is not there just to punish but to protect and prevent accidents. You need to concentrate at all times when driving if you use a mobile it’s very distracting.
How would you feel if you was to injure or kill someone you loved because you was distracted using a mobile. No fine or ban in the world would make this right. So think next time you are tempted to use a mobile phone while driving imagine a loved one dead because of your call.
Driving without a seatbelt is just stupid it maybe uncomfortable to wear but going through the windscreen because your not wearing a seatbelt is more uncomfortable.
The fines are not punitive enough. Fines for being distracted using a phone or fiddling with the navigation system should be a minimum of £1000 for the first offence and for the second offence should be a prison sentence.
Ive been driving up the M4 to Heathrow and come across lots of drivers sitting in lane 2 at 40mph, when you thwn overtake them you can see them looking at their” knee” !!!!
Obviously checking their phones oblivious to all other drivers around them!!
If they are sitting down sliding along in a lane on the motorway admiring their knee they are asking for trouble lol.
Is this true? I ask this as Lancashire Police say that they cannot use them to spot HGV drivers shortcutting over Grane Road an accident black spot.
Incidently i often see drivers using phones & often driving instructors on the phone whilst supervising .
Don’t believe much of what you read on the web, (Inc., here!) nor in newspapers. Truth is not one of their priorities.
No road is an accident black spot It is drivers that make a road into one Roads are not to blame for accidents DRIVERS are every time
A lot of calls are from call centres, on occasion I have pulled off the road to answer a call that turned out to be about PPI or double glazing. Its maddening as a phone ringing when you are driving is very distracting.
Maybe your phone has an off switch !
How do people view the use of mounted mobile using Waze or similar? I use it all the time. Mounted such that the screen (Note 8) is actually closer to hand than the indicator stalk. Common sense tells me that I don’t touch it while driving but the app does pop up ads that sometimes obscures the directions and can distract. Also the app encourages interaction to report incidents, police etc. I think this is a two edged sword. I’m interested to know peoples opinions.
They should use them to sort out lane discipline on duel carriageways and motorways, the Highway code states to move to the nearside lane when not overtaking, many still think of this lane as the Slow lane and think doing 50 they should be able to stay in the middle lane, cameras would make a bundle of cash here !!
On the M5 when the inside lane is filled with lorries as far as the eye can see, yes I do use the middle lane until the inside lane is clear for normal use. One shouldn’t change lanes unnecessarily, either. I use all the lanes as is reasonable to make progress. I believe the cameras on bridges do identify long distance middle lane cruisers.
Rwth: Your confession to such a driving habit confirms you as one of the perpetrators of the problem, not part of the solution. You are a danger to other road users being such a middle lane hogger.
As regards lane discipline on our roads, common sense seems to be the best idea: don’t keep jinking in and out between lanes because during such manoeuvres your car is a little less stable upon the road, hence more likely to be in an accident. HGV drivers will tell you that car drivers who zealously cut in suddenly can be a real nuisance (even dangerous) because car drivers don’t necessarily appreciate how much braking distance a lorry needs, not to mention that a lorry driver might not be able to see a car that’s only a few feet in front. Move to the inside lane when it is clear and you are not imminently due to pass another slow vehicle. The UK has such crowded roads that realistically we have a system whereby motorway inside lanes are full of HGVs and the outer lanes are used by everybody else passing them. On a three-lane carriageway, there is still ample scope for fast drivers to use the third lane while others use the middle lane to more gently pass the slowest on the inside lane. However in the UK even that is largely academic because of the motorway speed limit that means that nobody has the option to actually drive fast. Go on an unrestricted Autobahn and then you appreciate really the only place where lane discipline in essential.
Really so that’s why wagons travel so close together, they use the one in front to stop
On the autoban generally lane disipline is far better then here in the UK, if you are going faster than most other cars then put your dipped headlights on & if all lanes are full when you come up behinde another car in most cases just wait till they can move over & they do so & you can carry on without the need to flash your lights or that has been my experiance.
You don’t need headlights on in broad daylight with good visibility. Badly adjusted headlights cause as much dazzle as using brake lights at traffic lights. Too many car have incorretly adjusted headlights – but drivers never seem to check whether they are correctly set. Do it every week and especially after have work done on the car.
It’s not just poorly adjusted headlights. LED headlights “shard” dreadfully, and dazzle even when correctly adjusted.
My experience shows that lorry drivers don’t appreciate how much time and distance it takes to stop their vehicle either, else they wouldn’t drive so close to each other.
I bet you’re one of those who drives like a lunatic and expects everyone else to as well
Who was that intended for?
Paul + Hammond, READ what she said about the inside lane being FULL of wagons. THAT is WHEN she uses the 2nd lane as all other drivers NEED to do.
High-sided modern cars have a poor field of view even with well-positioned mirrors.
I think few motorway drivers are more dangerous than those who constantly ‘swoop’ from one lane to another, and then pull tightly in front of you.
Yes Ruth, but do they get penalised? I think the answer is probably NO.
What about those who tailgate in the fast lane when you’re doing the legal speed limit and start honking and flashing their lights which temporarily blind you ?
There is no such thing as a ‘fast lane’. Read the Highway Code. However I take your point. I also feel that if ‘centre lane drivers’ were more considerate towards inside lane drivers who are clearly approaching a point where they need to overtake, then we would see a reduction in what people call ‘centre lane hoggers’. I drive according the the HC, and use the inside lane at all times unless overtaking, however I frequently find myself coming up to a truck doing 60 mph but receive no consideration of that fact by drivers in the centre lane. This is frustrating and does lead to drivers staying in the centre lane because they know that no b****r will let them out again if they move back to the inside lane.
You are quite right. And given that changing lanes is one of the more dangerous manœuvres (apparently) it probably doesn’t assist road safety. Whether technically correct or not, since I tend to drive at (or marginally above!) the speed limit, I usually stay in the middle lane of a three-lane motorway if there is a fair bit of traffic in the left lane – as long as the outside lane is clear. If there is someone behind me, clearly travelling faster than me (naughty or not!) and the outside lane is busy, then I will pull in to let them pass. Like so many other things, I think it is a matter of common sense and consideration. To my mind, as long as I am not inconveniencing another motorist, or causing a dangerous situation, then it doesn’t really matter a hoot which lane I am in!
A good post Phil Tilson……. fair and logical. Spot on.
but nonetheless wrong
I really think that there should be a seperate test for motorway driving. The biggest problem is driving too fast and too close. Why is it that people have to go as fast as they can to get a couple of metres behind someone rather than hang back to a safe distance? Too worried that someone else will jump in the spot before them..
You are wrong on this one as the nearside lane is the driving lane & all other lanes are overtaking lanes only,far too many drivers sit in a centre lane with nothing in the nearside lane as they are too lazy or ignorant to drive in the correct lane,basically the standard of driving is s**t, if drivers had to take a driving test again most would fail.
YES Robin, I agree with all you have said, including the frustration when a middle lane hogger won’t let you out of lane 1 to overtake a slow moving vehicle for a few seconds or so and then we can move back into lane 1, keeping the other lanes available for those who ACTUALLY need them
Lane 2 is for Volvo drivers in hats. Too arrogant for lane 1 & too scared for lane 3.
Surely the right hand lane is the BMW lane which means them and only them can do 145 mph at any time (!)
Idiots that stay in the overtaking lane NOT overtaking should also be fined and points issued. They hold the traffic up, causing tailbacks!
Totally agree. Yesterday I went to Birmingham. Between junction 7 and 6 it is 4 lanes. I was in lane 1 doing 70mph. I was also breaking the law by undertaking the other 3 lanes. Only lane 4 was going faster than me. I have also witnessed the M25 where there are 5 lanes and only lanes 3 to 5 are used by the majority.
Note Stuart states doing the LEGAL LIMIT so how on earth can someone doing 70 mph be holding traffic up and causing tailbacks, the only one’s they are holding up are the morons who wish to break the speed limit and are the biggest cause of accidents on the motorways
sorry but no they are not, it is people who do not drive to the conditions or weave across lanes without looking in their mirrors
You assume your speedometer is correct?
What is the fast lane, they are overtaking lanes, this is the reason people sit in the middle lane ue to the terminology
Too many drivers need to study the Highway Code once again They do not know anything that’s in it Make all Driving laws offenders take the TheoryTest before being allowed to drive again
Great suggestion. BowStreetWalker.
It annoys me when people hog the middle lane, but it also annoys me when people pull in front of me and do it too soon so as not to leave the requisite 2 chevrons distance or expects me to move into a space where there is not 2 chevron spaces to both front and rear. Don’t even get me started about indicators!
Well, the law is there for all to know about. We have only ourselves to blame if we get caught.
If I spend ten minutes on the side of Glastonbury bypass I will probably see twenty drivers (mostly in the ubiquitous white van) using phones whilst driving, and mostly in excees of the speed limit. No cameras here.
I could have stopped thousands of deaths, saved hundreds of thousands of accidents and saved both consumer and tax payers probably billions of pounds in saved premiums, saved council tax spending and never have introduced those scourges of the road that are traffic calming measures such as sleeping policemen and the like.
How could I have come up with a scheme and yet thousands of people whose jobs it is to manage this infrastrucure couldn’t? Am I a super-brain?
No. We’ve had GPS technology now for at least twenty years at a cost that was easily affordable. If we really wanted to save lives using the road infrastrucure, Parliament could have brought in a law that tied GPS to engine management systems for probably less than the price of an alloy wheel. All new cars would have been built to this specification, and there would also have been an incentive to get the older cars modified through a scheme which meant no driver would be charged more than say £250. Then, when you’re going down a 30MPH road, the vehicle would be restricted (gravity notwithstanding) to delivering power to restrict you to this speed. No more worrying and constantly checking your speedo and no need for speed cameras or the like. Now apart from the Jeremy Clarkson (I have a small dick mentality) and the like, the infringement on civil liberties would be tiny in comparison to the rights of pedestrians.
Why has it never been done? Why do you think? Because, like everything in this stinking world these days, ithe reason is money. And this is just the tip of the iceberg on this corrupt, satanic world we now live in.
Alan, you have not properly thought this through. Yours is a dangerous idea. We all need to, individually, be in full control of our engines to deal with all the things real life on the road throws up. Your idea is rather similar to driverless cars without all the extra new tech and safeguards.
Alan, I totally agree with speed limiting technology, and there’s no reason why it should be expensive.
Of course, those who think it’s OK to break laws they don’t agree with will be furious, but there’s no reason why this should be compulsory. Insurance companies could encourage this by giving discounts to these types of vehicles, and it would be of particular benefit to high risk drivers.
The wonderful world of driverless cars awaits us all, where we don’t have to use our brains; where our route and speed is controlled and recorded by government-controlled artificial intelligence. That’s the satanic world we can look forward to.
We are being treated as if we have given our consent to be policed by robots. I never did. Did you?
It’s just another facet of the ‘Big Brother’ surveillance state we now live under, along with all the thousands of CCTV cameras, and it will only get worse. Why do you think the government is so keen on self-driving cars? It’s because when we have them, our every journey will be tracked and recorded, from start to finish, just like with the currently optional insurance company driving behaviour boxes. And don’t get me started on the computer usage Snooper’s Charter!
The Chief Constable of Avon and Somerset police recently said in a lecture that they receive 2 million photos from ANPR cameras every day!
At a lecture with Avon & Somerset Police? Wasn’t a Speed Awareness Course was it?
200 quid and 6 points is not enough because people are still doing it, what about the cyclist and pedestrian crossing the road or railway tracks shouldn’t they get done as well
And don’t forget the horse rider on a horse on the road don’t tell me they have proper control of the horse.
I don’t believe fines and points are the answer, however severe. It is simply being unlikely to get caught, not enough enforcement.
If you are pulled off the carriageway with the handbrake on, I think that is unreasonable. If the charge is low on the mobile and you need to have it plugged in to the socket that only operates when the engine is running you have a problem if you are talking to the RAC or AA etc. I use a Bluetooth connection with the satnav for very brief outside initiated calls, but hardly anyone rings me anyway.
I do think that mobile phone use is potentially dangerous, so I don’t do it while travelling on the road. How is it dangerous if you’re at a Motorway service station car park eating your sandwiches and trying to keep warm with the car’s A/C system ? This part of the legislation is cuckoo and not useful.
A bit like people p