Derbyshire, United Kingdom, February 18, 2008 --(PR.com
)-- To help spread the word about the dangers of talking whilst driving, F1 Driving School is launching an awareness campaign and making its students very well aware of the hazards. Evidence strongly suggests that talking whilst driving can be even more distracting and dangerous than even drink driving and F1's officials want to make sure motorists are aware and safe behind the wheel.
"Research has shown time and again that driving whilst talking severely impairs a driver's ability to react when they need to the most," said Claire Lewis, owner of F1 Driving School. "According to many studies touted by the British government, the reaction times for drivers who are talking are about 50 per cent lower than drivers who are not using a cellular phone. There are also studies that indicate a 30 per cent worse reaction time for talking drivers than those who are drink driving. Add to this the fact studies also show a four-times increase in the likelihood of a crash whilst a driver is talking and the reasons to just say no to incoming or outgoing calls stack up fast."
In the UK, the penalties for using a non-hands free cellular phone whilst driving are severe. Motorists face 3 points on their licences and a fine of GBP 60. Should the case go to court, fines could go up to GBP 1,000. Drivers of buses and coaches face a GBP 2,500 fine.
Whilst hands-free phones are not specifically prohibited under British law, they can still get drivers in trouble. If a violation of traffic law takes place or an accident happens, drivers can still receive points on their licences and a fine, Lewis said. If an accident happens whilst any phone, hands-free or not, is in use, and police can prove it, this is often enough to justify careless driving charges, which could result in higher fines, endorsement or even disqualification. In some cases, imprisonment might take place.
"It all adds up to a need for drivers to be more aware of the law and more mindful of safety behind the wheel," Lewis said. "Driving whilst talking or texting simply distracts motorists and can create a potentially deadly situation."
Whilst there are exceptions to the law, such as when emergency help is demanded, but it is unsafe to stop a moving vehicle, for the most part it is just plain unsafe and not smart to talk and drive. The police take mobile phone violations seriously, and so should drivers, Lewis said.
To learn more about motoring safety and proper vehicle operation, contact F1 Driving School for information about upcoming classes and course tuition fees at www.f1-driving-school.co.uk.