Mobile phone signals could be blocked in cars

Becky

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We all know the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel, but it doesn't stop a lot of people from doing it. It looks like the UK government may now be considering drastic action, in the form of technology that blocks mobile signals in moving cars.

Ministers are to meet car manufacturers and mobile companies in the new year to discuss the plan.

The move comes after almost one in three motorists admitted to having used their phone while driving, and 17,500 people were taken to court last year.

Campaigners have said they want to change attitudes towards texting and driving; in an RAC survey, a fifth of motorists said they believed it was safe to check social media and send text messages while sitting in traffic, despite it being against the law.


Read more here.

What do you think? A sensible precaution or a step too far?
 

V_R

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What about passengers? Or people using them as Sat Nav?

*I haven't read the article yet, sorry if I missed it.
 

Becky

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As far as I understand it, it would not be able to distinguish between passengers and the driver. So passengers couldn't use their phones either, and if you wanted to either use your phone for navigation or tether it to your sat nav (eg for traffic updates) then that would not be possible.

I thoroughly agree that people should not use their phone while driving, but this seems like a blunt instrument to be honest.
 

nivrip

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What about passengers? Or people using them as Sat Nav?

*I haven't read the article yet, sorry if I missed it.

Answers: 1. too bad and 2. get a proper inbuilt sat nav.

A human life is worth a lot more than the inconvenience of a passenger not being able to use his mobile for a while.
 
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Unfortunately it is against the law to use a mobile whilst driving and if people are stupid enough to use them then something must be done to stop them doing so. If you have attended as many RTC's as I have and had to deal with the carnage, blood, guts and screaming(it's the quiet ones you have to really worry about) that I have as a professional fireman. I does not matter what road you are on, a country road, a B road, A road, a town or city road or motorway you see people on mobile phones all the time it has got to stop it is against the law and it reduces concentration on the task of DRIVING and therefore should NOT be done. If people cannot be trusted to obey the law then something be done to stop them from doing it. The amount of RTC that are caused by people using Mobiles and killing, injuring innocent other drivers and pedestrians due this form of insanity is ridiculous that something has got to be done.
If people fail to obey the law with their technology than they MUST be forced to and yes it is a blunt instrument but if people cannot be trusted as the have been shown that they cannot be trusted then so be it. There is nothing worse than a police officer turning up on your door step and saying "sorry mrs/ mr blogs I am afraid your son/daughter, husband/wife was involved in a RTC and unfortunately they have been killed, at the inquest you find out the person driving was using/ playing games on their mobile.
 
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muckshifter

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I've said it before, I'll say it again ... anyone caught breaking the law pertaining to cars, ie: drink driving, no seat belt, phone use & whatever, should have their car impounded and ... crushed!!

:user:
 

nivrip

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Why when, for example, Google Maps or Waze is far superior to any car sat nav?

Really?????? My inbuilt sat nav is superb and if anything is superior it will only be by a tiny amount.

I've said this before but I feel anyone found guilty of using a mobile whilst driving should be fined £1000 and be banned from driving for one year. It may sound harsh and be a blunt instrument but it's the only way to stop the use of phones and to stop the deaths. The present penalties are a joke.
 

Becky

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Really?????? My inbuilt sat nav is superb and if anything is superior it will only be by a tiny amount.

General consensus is that portable sat navs are cheaper, better value for money, easier to update, and tend to use more advanced technology. I don't think they look as nice as built-in ones, though. If you want a built in sat nav that has live traffic updates it would cost a small fortune (way over £1k)... or you could use your phone, and just pay for a mount. Needless to say, most people opt to use their phone, and apps such as Waze are fantastic.

Don't get me wrong, I really do think that heavy action needs to be taken against people who use their phone while they are behind the wheel. I've read reports stating that using your phone while driving is more dangerous than even drink driving, so the punishments should reflect that. I just think that blocking mobile signals in cars is a strange way to do it.

I always have my phone linked to the car via bluetooth so that I can answer calls, get live traffic data for the GPS, and if I'm in a crash it will call emergency services for me. I wouldn't want to lose all that because stupid people choose to break the law.
 

Urmas

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I've read reports stating that using your phone while driving is more dangerous than even drink driving...

Depends. WHO (2011) has determined that drivers using mobile phone whilst driving are four times more likely to be involved in a crash. Those driving drunk (blood alcohol ≥0.5‰) increases are ten times more likely to be involved in a crash. That said, "crazoid" things like texting, reading emails etc. while driving are... you know. Crazy.

There is more research underway. That WHO study did not "break down" the act of calling. Here is what one recent study is suggesting:

Acr7582005307392-90198.jpg


Dotted line = "normal" risk level (= 1). Rather surprisingly, talking (risk coefficient = 0.9) does not seem to increase risk level. Searching the phone and answering a call (risk coefficient = 3.6) and initiating a call (risk coefficient = 4) are the risky moments. Texting and net browsing (WTF???) raise the risk to drunk driving level.

If these findings — namely that the dander lies in interacting with devices, not in conversating — are correct, then... what do we say about present-day touchscreen dashboards with menus upon menus. Or — a tad more "old tech" — the button jungle?

2012-Porsche-Panamera-S-Hybrid-center-console.jpg


Dunno... when I was a wee lad, there used to be signs like this in buses — "It is forbidden to engage driver in conversation".

puhelu_kuljettajan_kanssa_kielletty_kuva_clas_von_bell.jpg
 

V_R

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Really?????? My inbuilt sat nav is superb and if anything is superior it will only be by a tiny amount.
Don't always get live traffic, Far more frequent updates (sometime you need to pay to update built in systems), usually better user experience, bluetooth music calls etc, to name just a few advantages.

The only real advantage that built in units have is that they are neater than phones/portable units.
 

floppybootstomp

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No ifs or buts, anybody found guilty of using their phone in their motor should get a compulsory month in jail and a huge fine and also maybe be banned from owning a mobile phone for 12 months, that might stop the selfish twats.

My stance is if you can't afford a proper satnav for your vehicle then perhaps you shouldn't be owning a vehicle. Or use an A-Z like I still do.

I'd welcome a move to block phones in moving vehicles. Take a look at CCTV footage of that lorry driver who killed people by ploughing into their car whilst selecting music on his phone and that promo video Tredegar police made and then tell me I'm wrong. Zero tolerance.
 

nivrip

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Don't always get live traffic, Far more frequent updates (sometime you need to pay to update built in systems), usually better user experience, bluetooth music calls etc, to name just a few advantages.

The only real advantage that built in units have is that they are neater than phones/portable units.

I get live traffic. Updates are very much overrated, in that I get an update for a part of the country I never visit and the very, very occasional one that is relevant to me. An annual update, I think, is quite sufficient. Let's face it, the roads don't change that much. ;)

Better user experience????? Hmmmm..... And plenty of music available from radio, DVD or USB.

And, yes, much neater. :)
 

Adywebb

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Using a mobile phone whilst driving is dangerous whether hands-free or not as it is a distraction....however it could be argued Satnav's are distracting too.
I would be against blocking signals in cars as I use data tethering on my phone to give live traffic updates on my built in satnav which is invaluable to me, I imagine others are in a similar situation.
Making innocent people suffer for the stupidity of others isn't really fair - more should be spent enforcing the current rules.
 

Becky

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Making innocent people suffer for the stupidity of others isn't really fair - more should be spent enforcing the current rules.

Yup, couldn't agree more.

In a way it's like the EU ruling on website cookies - rather than expect people to educate themselves, they tell every website to have an alert for cookies. Doesn't make sense.
 

floppybootstomp

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It seems there are scenarios applying to the subject I hadn't considered or wasn't aware of that would make compulsory blocking of mobile phone signals inconvenient.

One solution may be for those who need such a service to apply for exclusion vehicles, such as the emergency services, GP's and others I haven't thought of. In any case it will take some time, at least ten years, before such a blocking device fitted to new cars would have any noticeable effect.

It was stated here it could be argued that satnavs and hands free mobile phones are a distraction when driving. I would argue otherwise, it's quite one thing to hold a conversation with a loudspeaker or listen to a disembodied robotic voice giving instructions than to text a message using a tiny keyboard and screen or drive one handed with a phone clamped to ones' ear.

I think most people are capable of driving whilst holding a conversation or listening to route instructions and for years I managed to eat a sandwich whilst driving though I'm undecided about this one. Smoking should also get a mention I suppose but again, I'm undecided (unless there are kids in the car but that's a different subject).

It was also suggested more resources should be devoted to enforcing the current laws which I am strongly in agreement with. However, at the risk of getting political it could be argued that the current ruling political party that purport to traditionally be 'the party of law and order' are actually cutting back budgets to all emergency services and this includes our police forces.

We don't see 'bobbies on the beat' anymore so what chance police patrols dedicated to mobile traffic offence surveillance? It seems the only offenders caught using a mobile device whilst driving are caught purely by chance. It would be good to see more people prosecuted for this offence but I can't see it happening given our current circumstances.

It IS a subject I feel strongly about and every time I see some selfish idiot driving with a phone clamped to their ear or texting a message I seriously just want to take out their windscreen with a heavy object. Perhaps violence would be all they understand.

Ok, let me simmer down.....
 

Adywebb

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Calm down Floppy!! :lol:
Agree with a lot you have written, particularly around the police enforcement - just sad that it could in the end come down to money and the use of technology to stop everyone regardless of reason because it is the cheapest way rather than the fairest.

The arguments for and against things being a distraction would probably come down to personal opinion and capability I guess, but no doubt some study has or could be done to see the reaction time effects of varying scenarios. I know I have a tendency to not only listen to the satnav voice, but also look momentarily at the screen too which some may argue is taking my eyes and concentration off the road, if only for a second.

This will probably take many years to come about I guess, but once these things start I worry where it all ends.
 

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