The law currently states that you cannot use a hand-held phone at the wheel but it is legal to drive using a hands-free phone if it is used safely.
However, following a recent enquiry into road safety, a group of MPs have now proposed banning drivers from using hands-free phones. Research claims that a driver will be distracted when using a mobile phone even if it is hands-free. The part of the brain that is used to conjure up images created by the phone conversation blocks the capability required for accurate visual perception of a driving situation, thus causing the distraction and consequently decreasing reaction times.
We have managed without mobile phones before but in this age of high technology where 24/7 contact is the norm how difficult would it be to change the way we operate if the proposal to ban hands-free phone use whilst driving is successful? Being able to communicate with drivers whilst out on the road – is this an essential factor in ensuring good customer service and a successful business? Or is there another way?
As statistics continue to report a growth in incidents, where it can be proved that mobile phone usage was a contributing factor, more and more companies are adjusting their work practices and enforcing a total ban on mobile phone use whilst driving, in the interest of improving road safety and keeping drivers and all road users safe.
FTA and Tachodisc enforce a total ban on phone usage at the wheel. Furthermore, we discourage all staff from continuing an outbound call they have made if they believe the person answering the phone is driving.
Maybe now is the time to think about how a ban would affect you and work towards looking at alternative procedures – better to be safe than sorry.