Driving Penalties On Our Roads
The use of a mobile phone when driving has been seen as a distraction that should be discouraged, and drivers seen with a hand-held phone whilst behind the wheel, having been given the statuary three penalty points and a fine of one hundred pounds.
As an offence, it ranked alongside ignoring signs, or average speeding convictions. Probably as the mobile has morphed into the smart phone, so the distractions have grown in potential.
Social media, emails, mapping, music hubs, and much more, the smart phone has the potential to keep driver concentration in the wrong place for far too long, and in the wake of a spate of tragic and fatal accidents, the offence, as of early 2017, will carry double the punishment that it does now.
It is to try and turn social awareness to understand that using a phone while driving is to be regarded as unacceptable as drinking and driving. Making the deterrent a mind-set, is the far better option, because policing drivers with the dwindling number of patrolling police on the roads will scratch less and less of the surface of the problem.
Not a problem for the dwindling number of guardians of the law, is speeding. They have pretty much got that covered mile by mile, 24/7, with some highly sophisticated machinery indeed.
The most recognisable of these, having been on our roadsides since the early nineties are the Gatso and Truvelo speed cameras, or as they are now known, safety cameras.
The original was the Gatso, a radar activated camera which, if triggered, takes a series of pictures with a powerful flash, of the rear of the car (obviously including the number plate) as it passes over white lines on the road. The radar will note the speed, and the calibrated white lines will also show how fast it was going over them.
The Gatso has been known to trigger forgetfulness amongst drivers remembering who was at the wheel at the time, but not the case with the Truvelo camera. This camera looks similar to the Gatso, but has a fundamental difference, it takes pictures of the driver at the wheel, and of the registration plate at the same time.
Activated by sensors in the road surface, when triggered the flash that the camera uses is in infrared, which is not seen by the human eye, therefore not dazzling the driver and producing a glossy colour picture, should any driver have a bout of forgetfulness.