Saturday 23 February 2019

Why is there such arrogance among phone-at-wheel drivers?

'Phones distract us from safely marshalling a potential killing machine'
'Phones distract us from safely marshalling a potential killing machine'
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

I sense a growing and pervasive arrogance among people using their mobile phones at the wheel.

The numbers doing so have rocketed since before Christmas if my anecdotal observations are in any way reflective of the collective madness.

People of all ages, gender and car ownership appear to have, en masse, decided they will get away with it.

I thought we'd moved on. I really did. But I don't think we have. We're as bad as we ever were. If not worse.

And don't give me the old line about needing more gardai to clamp down. We're doing it because we are irresponsible. It's as simple as that.

It's not like we don't know what's involved. Phones distract us from safely marshalling a potential killing machine.

We give our attention to something other than a vehicle that may be covering 30 metres every second.

It's pure madness when you think about it.

I've been prompted to highlight the crazy situation once again - it gives me no pleasure to do so, I can tell you - after reading the outcome of a study in the UK.

Figures from their Department for Transport show that their unacceptably high levels of illegal phone use among drivers is down to the fact that 37pc believe the chance of getting caught is minimal.

Worse still, more than half (52pc) are not concerned about the impact of getting caught.

Their road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is urging every driver to accept that using a mobile phone while at the wheel is far too risky.

Its road safety officer Neil Worth says holding and using any device while in control of a car is a "potentially lethal distraction". Of course the same applies here but fewer drivers appear to care. How long is this going to go on? Let us know what you think. ecunningham@independent.ie.

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