The latest, apparently draconian rule to come from the UK Government is to send drivers using mobile (cell) phones to jail.
On the face of it this seems a little excessive but there are valid reasons for the law when one considers that being in total control of a moving vehicle is very important. Watching the actions of drivers who are using mobiles clearly suggests that they are not 100% focused on driving. But the law is to include other "fiddling" activities such as using an iPod.
The reasons I wonder if this is just a little draconian are two fold:
1. Do we have enough jail space if it is estimated that 500,000 people a day flout the already existing (2003) law against using mobile phones?
2. Is using a mobile phone all that different from smoking a cigarette? Perhaps smoking becomes a habitual action that doesn't distract. Should a driver even be allowed to adjust the volume of the radio? Should a driver's hand be allowed to stray away from the steering wheel to, say, change gear? Should conversation be allowed inside a vehicle or should drivers be cocooned in a separate "cab"? Just where should the line be drawn?
Threatening jail seems to be an over-reaction, unless, of course, it can be proved that using a mobile phone may have caused an accident.
And as an aside, since we own a left hand drive car, does this mean that we will be charged for the front passenger being photographed using a mobile?