AA laments ‘macabre motorists’

12.00 | 12 September 2012 | | 4 comments

42% of drivers are illegally using hands-held mobiles behind the wheel, with some even taking pictures of crashes, according to an AA/Populus survey (Press Association).

Of the 42% of respondents who admitted to using mobile phones while driving, 60% said it had distracted them.

As many as 74% of the 21,000 drivers polled said they had seen others using mobile phones on some or most journeys, with 25% seeing mobiles being used on all trips they make.

Around 20% admitted using a mobile to send a text; 4% checked emails; 2% sent emails; 2% read Twitter or Facebook updates; and 1% even tweeted while driving.

The AA said police in Northamptonshire recorded 80 drivers using phones or cameras to photograph emergency services attempting a four-and-a-half-hour rescue of a 21-year-old driver trapped in her crashed truck on the M1 in August.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “Drivers need to concentrate on driving rather than be distracted by digital technology. Our research shows that some drivers are now using their smart phones for more than talking on the move. It is really not smart to talk, text or tweet on the move.

“Digital rubber-neckers who photograph crashes really are morbid voyeurs who should be concentrating on the road, not the victims of crashes. It beggars belief that these macabre motorists should put their lives and others at risk through their lust for twisted metal.

“We would like to see the police target more mobile phone abusers so that the message gets out that it is not worth hanging on the telephone while driving.

“However, we have seen a 29% reduction in traffic police in the last decade so their resources are stretched.”

Click here to read the full Press Association report.


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    In response to Dave Finney – quite right, and the only difference between convicted criminals and others is, for the most part, that the others have not yet been caught.

    There are so many laws now – numbers doubled under Blair – that it is impossible to live normally in this country without breaking one or more every day.

    Idris Francis Petersield
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    I doubt that Dave as I believe that a strong force will deter many from doing things that they are presently doing and know are wrong and that they might knowingly, if caught, be brought to book for. A good enough deterrent if there is a greater chance of being caught, unlike the present position.

    Many persons on this site shout regularly for more law enforcement and that’s all I am suggesting. My parents always told me look after the little things and the big things will look after themselves.

    I think that we all, or most of us, agree that we need law enforcement just as much as training and education and lament the loss of involement of the police.

    I would rather it be another 25,000 police officers but if it’s a new organisation, with accountability like the police, I have no problem with that.

    bob craven Lancs
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    If every law could be enforced to the fullest extent, then almost every citizen of legal age would be a convicted criminal within days, if not hours.

    Dave Finney – Slough
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    It’s the duty of all police officers to report and prosecute offenders that offend against the laws of this land, not just traffic officers. I have come to the conclusion that no government will admit that law and order has broken down, enough to the end that they would start recruiting some 25,000 more officers. Therefore I feel that we need the other considered strategy being put forward of creating another force with the sole purpose of applying the laws. The laws of this land need to be applied and the exercise of control needs to be applied. Unfortunately it will not be the police.

    bob craven Lancs
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