What Can Wait?
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership is highlighting the dangers of being distracted by your mobile phone with a new campaign entitled “It Can Wait”. We are raising awareness that nothing is more important than focussing on driving – and driving alone. When you consider what using your phone behind the wheel could result in, there is no question in what the safest option is. The phrase “It Can Wait” relates to this, suggesting that whatever is happening on your mobile – be it a phone call, a text, something from social media – none of it is as important as getting to your destination in one piece. Dedicate the time to driving that driving really requires. Whatever your phone is doing, it can wait until after.
Currently, the penalties for using your phone whilst driving is a £100 fine and three points on your driving licence. Last year, the government conducted a consultation with the public as to what they thought about these consequences – and the results were greatly encouraging for safety. Read the report here. Although these are still just proposals by the government, it is expected that the penalties will be increased this year, to £200 and six points. This last part should be particularly of note to drivers who have not held their licence for a long time: if you acquire six points on your licence within two years of obtaining your full one, you will lose it.
But it’s not just about the fine and the points. We are urging drivers to ignore their phone – more than anything – for safety. There have been a lot of high-profile cases recently where drivers have been convicted after killing or seriously injuring fellow road users, like the case last year with Tomasz Kroker. The full story is available here, but it does contain some upsetting footage.
Tomasz Kroker was using his mobile phone to change the music in his car. How technology has changed so quickly in the 21st century means we use our phones to do everything. But it can’t drive a car for you, and it certainly can’t stop you from crashing. It hinders your concentration on the road hugely. Consider what driving was like before mobile phones were ubiquitous. Or, for the younger generation, consider how calm life is when you’re not glued to your phone.
Whether it’s the idea of points on your licence, having less money one month due to a fine, or the safety aspect that hooks you into not using your mobile behind the wheel – remember, whatever it is really can wait.