We have many customers who phone us while driving.
‘I’m on hands-free.’ They say.
Now, it is against the law in the UK to be using a hand-held phone while driving, stopped at traffic lights, or in a traffic queue. It can be 3 penalty points and £100 fine minimum, and £1000 fine and disqualification maximum. Buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum of £2500 fine. You can only legally use a hand-held device for calling 999 or 112 in an emergency situation and it is unsafe or impractical to stop, or you are safely parked.
It is legal to use hands-free phones, sat navs or 2-way radios while driving. However, if the police think you are distracted then you can still be stopped and penalised.
All sounds well and good? Well take a further look at using hands-free…
When you make a phone call you have to input the number, whether it’s the whole number or a speed dial number, or a name. This requires a thought process and you looking at the device to punch in the right digit. You are distracted from driving.
If you are calling a company for some kind of service, our call centre for instance, then you are thinking about the reason you are calling, what information do you need, what information do we need, etc. Your focus is on the call not on your driving. You are distracted.
Although using a hands-free device is legal, I resent the fact that some people are phoning me while driving. It puts unnecessary and unwanted responsibility on to me. You may ask what I mean by this. Very simple. If you have an accident while phoning me while you are driving, then how do you think I’m going to feel? If you don’t know the answer to this, then let me put it in a different way.
Say you are sitting at home and your partner, son, daughter, calls you while they are driving. They are on a hands-free device. Perfectly legal. While talking to you they have a bad accident. You have been talking to them knowing that they are driving. You have distracted them. You are partly responsible for the accident. How are you going to feel?
Needless to say that if you phone me while driving, regardless of whether you are on a hands-free device or not, I’m not going to continue with the call. It is wrong of you to expect me to take responsibility for any accident you may have while you are distracted. If you wish to kill yourself do it in your own time, not mine. If you wish to kill other people then you’ve clearly got no conscience.
If you are driving do not make phone calls.