Police, Camera, Action!
Police, Camera Action! has returned with a new series. The programme is a documentary featuring police camera and video footage of people driving badly and car chases. The programme is fronted by TV newsman Alistair Stewart and Adrian Simpson.
The subject of this week’s programme was “Driving without due care”. At present, we seem to have an obsession with trying to do more than one thing at once, and that includes driving. Research has shown that using a hands-free mobile phone can be more dangerous than driving under the influence of drink. What constitutes “driving without due care and attention ?” This can be anything that means that you are not in proper care of the vehicle. This means eating, drinking, using the mobile phone (hands-free) and map reading and is at a policeman’s discretion. The penalty is 3 points on your driver’s licence and a fine of £60. Since 2003, using a hand-held phone whilst driving is illegal and attracts a heavy fine and ban.
The programme featured some incidents of driving without due care:
• A driver is Lincolnshire ignores police when they alert him to pull over. He crashes into a fence, reverses and then keeps driving, ignoring both the speed limit and the road.
• A Manchester policeman follows a driver whilst he is on the telephone. Even when the policeman drives up beside him, he is unaware of the police. It turns out that the driver is using a company vehicle but does not have insurance to drive the car. It is towed away until someone with the relevant insurance can drive it.
• Another driver in Manchester is driving without a seat belt, using a mobile phone and in an access only area. The driver is evasive when questioned and gives a false identity. A search reveals that the driver had 4 disqualifications from driving. He received a 2 year ban and will face prison if caught again.
• A Dutch lorry driver had a pan of spaghetti in one hand and a fork in the other hand and was driving using his knees!
Adrian Simpson took part in an experiment at the Transport Research Library on driving reaction times. His normal reaction time was 1.25 seconds and this increased to 1.95 seconds whilst he was being engaged in a simulated phone conversation. It seems that the conversation is the bigger distraction than holding a handset.
This episode of Police, Camera, Action! Showed how important it is to concentrate fully whilst driving.