PHONES: Is crackdown a non-starter

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The saying goes that a day is a long time in politics. That was certainly evident with respect to the latest action against people using mobile phones while driving.

On the Wednesday the Government announced a new zero tolerance strategy. It would double the fine for using a phone while driving to £200, and increase the penalty on a licence from three to six points.

How was it going to achieve this zero tolerance? Police forces were to carry out a crackdown, with extra patrols and an increased focus on catching drivers using mobile phones.

On the Thursday, HM Inspectorate of Constabularies issued a report stating that “the rationing of services in the face of increasing budget cuts has plunged police forces into a potentially perilous state”. Apparently, after cutting the number of police officers by 20,000 in recent years they are stretched to the limit. It appears that no one thought to ask the police if they could enforce a crackdown as suggested.

Still, the motor industry must be doing its part? A current TV advert for one hatchback says it has WiFi connection sufficient to use seven devices while using the car. Not only can you use a phone or similar, but all your passengers can stick their devices in front of your face while you are driving too.

It all beggars belief.

Mel Shaw,

Archbold Cottages,

Wooler