Tough Talk on Texting


28 May 2014

Tough Talk on Texting

Texting while driving has now been illegal in the UK since December 2003; the only exception to the law is drivers who require to make a voice call to 999 in an emergency situation. Even when sitting at traffic lights, it is an offence to use a handheld mobile device and carries the licence endorsement code of CU80, (3-points and a £60 fine). However, for HGV drivers this may be about to become a totally different story. Plans are in the mix for increasing the penalties for goods vehicle drivers. Under the new proposals, HGV drivers could be automatically suspended from driving when convicted of a CU80 offence. This suspension would last three weeks on the first offence and a further 42 days for a second offence. The “CU80” code currently applies to all vehicles; but there are even plans to introduced a separate endorsement to allow a drivers future employers to identify when the offence has been committed in a truck.

Under the new plans, drivers will be issued with a letter from the Traffic Commissioner (on the first offence) warning them that a second will lead to a conduct hearing! The Freight Transport Association recognizes these new plans and welcomes them as a big step towards ensuring further safety measures. Studies have shown that a driver is more than four times more likely to be involved in a crash when using a handheld device*. You think we’re going to say that a drivers reaction is 30% worse than normal? No! A drivers reaction time is 30% less than that of a drunk driver. When travelling at 55MPH (roughly the speed of a HGV), a driver will statistically not look at the road for 144 meters. That’s eight lorry lengths (or enough space to plough into 24 Ford Mondeos when sat in traffic). And the results? As the vehicle almost never initially applies the brakes – a full force impact.

So guys and girls! Be careful out there, and with these new plans in place… is that message worth more than someones life? Let alone your licence.