Why proper equipment is vital to answering calls at the wheel
I agree that dialling a number can be dangerous but answering calls with a hands-free proper built-in Bluetooth option with steering wheel controls is not only acceptable but necessary in some cases. As a doctor on call I cannot tell which call is a severe emergency requiring my immediate advice. There is not always a safe place to pull in – see article re the hard shoulder of the Motors supplement (April 23). "There are lots of us serviced parking stops" – you must be joking, unless one is referring to the ones for the gardai.
As regards the article on phone use while driving I have to say that I totally agree that this practice should be banned. As a hands-free user I find it a total distraction, despite the fact that I use it regularly. One does not have full concentration while using the hands-free and I consider it quite unsafe to do so.
The problem is much more complicated than the mere use of a mobile phone and I totally agree that the practice must stop.
Those causing the problems are business calls made by banks, utilities, civil servants etc which upset the recipient. The callers are aware the recipient is unlikely to have even a pencil to hand. The call is unfair at best and can be intimidating and upsetting. It makes no difference if hand-held or hands-free, the upset can be the same.
Similarly, employers that contact their drivers in the course of their work appear to expect and demand that the calls are answered immediately.
I would suggest that private motorists leave these calls unanswered and that calls between employers and drivers be restricted to pre-arranged truck stops and cafes etc.