Forty percent of drivers say that even if they caused a collision, it would not stop them using cell phones while driving, according to new research.
You can read much more about this research, and the fact that it is from the RAC in Britain, should by no means lead to it being dismissed as irrelevant in the USA simply because it’s not from America. Clearly, problems of this nature are immensely dangerous worldwide and we should all be looking to learn from our international contemporaries.
The excessively high proportion of drivers who make this outrageous claim that even causing a collision wouldn’t stop them making calls when driving needs to be taken very seriously indeed. It is in some ways similar to the old attitude towards drunk driving in Britain but a persistent and calculated programme to defeat the problems from drinking and driving has proved extremely successful at changing the overall attitude in the UK so this would appear to be the route we need to follow once more.
Since March 1, 2017, drivers in Britain have faced stricter penalties for illegal handheld phone use, with both the higher fine of £200 (US $260) and number of penalty points being doubled to six (meaning that anyone caught committing this offence twice within a three-year period would almost certainly be disqualified/suspended from driving).
“Not too long ago, I was riding my bicycle near the corner of 9th and Carpenter behind a motor vehicle, which was behind another motor vehicle, which was behind a bus. No one was moving very fast, as is often the case on South Philadelphia’s narrow streets. But that didn’t matter to the middle-aged man in the pickup truck behind me. Flustered and in a red-faced rage, he incorrectly told me I was legally required to get out of his way. Ignoring him at first, I turned my head only when he threatened to violently run me over with his vehicle. I pointed to the car in front of me, and the one in front of that car. “No one’s going anywhere fast,” I said with a shrug. But that only made him angrier. “I don’t care,” he yelled out the driver’s side window. “I’ll run you down!” Sound familiar? If you’re a person who rides a bike, it probably does…”
“…[Bad] situations occur because people on bicycles and motor vehicle users are expected to share city streets. And while people on bicycles make mistakes, too, their mistakes don’t have the same potential to hurt other road users like that of a guy in a pick up truck who thinks he’d get to his endpoint two minutes faster if the bicyclist were out of the way…”