I know that this doesn’t apply to any of our drivers. We only choose the best and that means they would never do something as downright wrong as driving while using a mobile device.
What we all sadly know is that this is not the case for all drivers on the road. I cannot count the number of times I have seen a driver negotiating their way through the town centre in a heavy vehicle whilst chatting on the phone just yards away from small children and other pedestrians. Just as dangerous is the idiot I saw the other day motoring up the middle lane in a refrigerated high sided HGV while clearly texting and, unbelievably, with a DVD playing on his dashboard. This kind of behavior is total insanity and I know all our drivers will agree with me when I say I would welcome any attempt to stamp it out.
As of September this year a new law has come into force which means that using any mobile device while driving could mean some hefty penalties and even the end of your career.
As of September 2014, if you are caught using a mobile while driving you will automatically be issued with a fixed penalty of £100. While this is a pretty big financial sting for someone, worse still for the professional driver is the additional penalty. If you are driving a heavy goods or public service vehicle the DVLA are taking the view that this is an additional danger, and as such they will be issuing a 3-point penalty on your DVLA record for the offence. As we all know 3 points is a big black mark on your driver record.
In addition you will receive a letter explaining that the new regulations get tougher for a second offence. Should you be caught using a mobile device while driving a second time, in addition to the offence, you will automatically be referred to the traffic commissioner who will consider your suitability to continue to hold a vocational licence.
Now, we know none of our drivers would even consider doing something as silly as using a mobile in the cab. The roads are dangerous enough for our drivers who daily negotiate the erratic progress of the boy racer, the hopeless driver and the difficulties caused by the weather. Hopefully the new rules will go some way towards getting some of those dangerous HGV and PSV drivers who give everyone a bad name off the road for good.