The war on motorists.

I was watching the main BBC1 morning news programme and up came an item about motorists who still hold their mobile phones whilst driving. Obviously this is not a good idea since it can lead to serious accidents. To discuss the topic the BBC had invited in two guest; a lady whose daughter had been tragically killed by a motorist who had been driving recklessly and a journalist from the Motoring press. The conversation followed the line that to even have a mobile phone switched on in the car was dangerous (even hands-free!, that the use of a SatNav was dangerous, and that taking your hands of the wheel whilst driving was verging on the reckless, if not criminal. There was a general consenus around these points with both BBC presenters cooing along with the awful dangers that us drivers present. Where was the voice of someone saying that our cars are private property and what we do in them is our business so long as it is not illegal? Where was the voice to challenge the intrusion of the State into how we drive our cars? You see I believe that the BBC is a primary advocate for the Nanny State and that even on relatively minor issues like this it is careful to put out the view that we need to be legislated for – since you just can’t trust the British public.

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45 Responses to The war on motorists.

  1. Cockney says:

    Didn’t see the programme so I’m sure it probably was excessive as ever, but I don’t think motorists killing people is a ‘minor’ issue. Using a non hands free mobile or otherwise p*ssing about whilst driving is stupidly dangerous – if you’re that important or have such little self esteem that it can’t wait then get a hands free.

    Isn’t the road a public place? I’m sure it’s still legal to sit in your driveway or hammer around your country estate gabbing away to your heart’s content, just not on the North Circular.

    There’s enough genuine concerns re: infrastructure investment, enviro-rubbish, ridiculous speed limits etc etc not to see bias in this issue.

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  2. Martin says:

    I have to agree to a point. Using a mobile phone in a car is a big distraction. I removed my hands free kit from my car and leave the phone off.

    However, what the BBC failed to mention are the number of BAD drivers that infest our roads.

    I’m not sure how many people are killed each year using a mobile phone in thier car, but I’m betting that more are killed by poor driving or other distractions.

    I noted the BBC didn’t suggest that rich middle class white women should be banned from talking to their children in the back of their large 4X4? Perhaps because that might effect BBC type feminists?

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  3. Chuffer says:

    You’re being daft on this one, David. If you have a phone switched on in a car, and it rings, I bet you sneak a look to see who it is.

    And, yes, voice-free sat nav is dangerous too; it takes your concentration off the road.

    There’s a difference between doing what we like ‘cos it’s still legal, and behaving in a way that is socially responsible.

    Now, get back to some proper postings!!!

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  4. Cassandra says:

    Breaking news on the BBC,

    Was the BBC tipped off prior to the “rooftop protest” at the HoC this AM? This publicity stunt was just a little too quickly covered and the BBC had comentators ready and a camera crew there to cover it as it happened!
    The BBC reporters seemed very pleased as they described it as a “fantastic coup” and an “incredible feat” gushing praise indeed!
    It seems that the BBC also had the same ‘inside line’ and sympathetic attitude to the failed ‘Heathrow climate protest’
    How can it be that the BBC are able to speak so quickly to the protesters?
    Is this a setup and contrived publicity stunt by ‘plane stupid’ and the BBC?
    There are many questions to answer here because IF the BBC had prior knowledge of an attack then why did they fail to report it to the Police?
    Anyone with knowledge of the organisation of this kind of operation knows that a BBC crew could not have got there in time or had direct communication with the protesters or had commentators ready at the studio to make their case if the BBC didnt have prior knowledge!
    An ivestigation into this would show that the eco activists have supporters within the BBC high command structure.
    All in all a shabby and one sided and biased demonstration by the BBC yet again?
    Dirty tricks and one sided propaganda that is being financed by the taxpayer but they must realise that by doing this they are signing their own P45s.

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  5. DV’s point is that the BBC is institutionally biased against motorists, and hypocritically so because I’d wager that many/most BBC staffies have cars which won’t be exactly ‘eco-friendly’.
    On a personal note, I consider SatNav to be a dangerous distraction if used by the driver. Mobile phones are a dangerous distraction if used to dial and make a call (very much so), but not any hazard on receiving a call with a hands-free and continuing the conversation. If it were so dangerous, then having passengers or even a radio in the car would be equally ‘dangerous’. The BBC should focus on the number of uninsured, unqualified and illegal drivers on the road before it gets after the white middle class which pays the bulk of the BBC’s income.

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  6. Hillhunt says:

    Oslo:

    DV’s point is that the BBC is institutionally biased against motorists, and hypocritically so

    Excellent point.

    Which channel is it that Clarkson, Hammond and May work for? Forget football rights, why doesn’t the BBC sign them up to make some decent pro-car shows?

    Biased BBC: Two litres short of a tankful

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  7. cameron says:

    Hey guys this isnt a bias issue,it really is an issue opf safety! every person that has driven into the back or side of my bus has been on there phone or drunk. thats an official statistic from someone afftected by this stupid practice.
    Ive seen people on there phones go through red lights and drive into traffic islands,ive seen people drive up kerbs,park in front of ambulances whilst chatting.
    I support this site wholeheartedley,but yes – people need to be retrained as drivers also – the hazard perception test is superb – and before anyone criticises my bus driving – i have taken a 200 question theory test and hazard perception test and a 2 hour practical test in a 40ft bus.

    Driving whilst doing anything other than concentrating on the road is dangerous – it really does cause a lot of accidents.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    This is government interference in ways like insisting everyone drives on the same side of the road, observe speed limits and so forth?

    I’m all for it.

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  9. Hillhunt says:

    Mr Orange:

    You see I believe that the BBC is a primary advocate for the Nanny State and that even on relatively minor issues like this it is careful to put out the view that we need to be legislated for – since you just can’t trust the British public.

    No indeed. What it should do is trust the 1.5% of the Ulster population who follow your line on the Good Friday peace process.
    .

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  10. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    I think that some of you are missing the point. Vance is talking about the wider issue of personal freedom and the lack of voices at the BBC who stand up for this viewpoint on issues across the board.

    On any given issue you can guarantee that the BBC take on it wil be that State intervention is always good.

    Vance will also be well aware that the flipside to Freedom is Responsibility and that the flipside to State Control & Intervention is that less personal responsibility is required.

    Do try to keep up.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Cassandra

    It would have made hugely entertaining television if the plane had taken off while these Greenpeace fools were on top of it!

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  12. D'Oh says:

    “No indeed. What it should do is trust the 1.5% of the Ulster population who follow your line on the Good Friday peace process.
    Hillhunt | 27.02.08 – 11:44 am”

    No indeed. What it should do is trust the 0.0% of the UK population that read and contribute to hillhunt’s own blog.

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  13. D'Oh says:

    Actually on the issue I have to say I do not see this as bias.
    Improving road safety is a good thing.
    Stopping mobile phone use in cars is like compulsory seatbelts, stopping drink driving, imposing speed limits and driving on the left, necessary safety measures.
    If you had contact with those affected by those needlessly injured or killed on the roads you might feel differently too.

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  14. Grimer says:

    Has anybody ever encountered a Pro BBC blog?

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  15. D'Oh says:

    Grimer,

    hillhunt has his own blog, undoubetdly pro BBC, viewed and contributed by 0.0%, says it all…

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  16. point of order says:

    It’d be good to clear up some misconceptions but first I should state an interest. I have been hospitalised by a driver using a mobile phone. He drove his large 4×4 into the back of me, totalling my car & the one in front of mine.
    Nevertheless, it’s my opinion that the whole issue has been blown up out of all proportion. There already were two perfectly good offences that covered mobile phone use whilst driving – driving without due care & dangerous driving.
    Cockney @ 9:16 is “sure it’s still legal to sit in your driveway or hammer around your country estate gabbing away to your heart’s content” which is a common fallacy. The law defines the public highway to include anywhere the public have access so you could certainly be prosecuted for using you phone in a vehicle in your own driveway. It would simply have to be proved that you were ‘in charge’ of the vehicle at the time, which various drink driving cases have established to mean anywhere near it in possession of the keys. Much the same would apply on your “country estate” unless you’d taken extensive measures to prevent access by the public. Any car park is defined as the highway so don’t think you can phone the wife from the station or from outside the pub.
    Why I oppose the current legislation is that it has taken away from the police the requirement to prove that you are causing a hazard & replaced it with a catch all offence. What is the problem with someone phoning from a car stationary in solid traffic on a motorway?
    It’s not even been a successful law. As I walk the dog of a morning a third of the drivers coming towards me are on the phone. A high proportion are women on the ‘school run’ who are the group most vociferous when it comes to phone banning legislation.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Hillhunt. I notice……..ah bollocks can’t be arsed with such a tosser.

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  18. WillS says:

    “Where was the voice of someone saying that our cars are private property and what we do in them is our business so long as it is not illegal?”

    Such voices are banned from the BBC, allowed only to appear on Top Gear – where they attract an audience of 8 million.

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  19. Jeff Todd says:

    If the climate is so endangered, why not scrap the BBC?

    The surefire way to reduce CO2 emissions, put money in Joe Public’s pocket, and give the government a few billion in assets/resources is to scrap it as a matter of urgency.

    It is win, win, win for planet, people, government. Of course a few Beeboids will be on the dole, but since they do not give a toss about anyone else – who cares?

    Of course supporting climate alarmism without realising that it means your own souicide is a typical self contradictory lefty policy

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  20. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Hillhunt | 27.02.08 – 10:52 am |

    Which channel is it that Clarkson, Hammond and May work for? Forget football rights, why doesn’t the BBC sign them up to make some decent pro-car shows?

    Yes, there is one pro-car programme on BBC airwaves. You’re right, that’s one bit of institutional bias that is not across the board. It’s light entertainment and not news, so the groupthink isn’t enforced as strongly.

    But the silly show does incorporate a couple of other favorite institutional BBC biases: Conservatives are buffoons, and America is uncool (except for a couple of muscle cars because, well, they’re cool innit?).

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  21. Typhoo says:

    Have to agee with the other posters who see this as a safety issue. It’s about reducing accidents and keeping pedestrians and other road users from harm.

    Anyone who thinks this is a biased bbc matter needs their head examined.

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  22. Hillhunt says:

    DP USA:

    But the silly show does incorporate a couple of other favorite institutional BBC biases: Conservatives are buffoons, and America is uncool (except for a couple of muscle cars because, well, they’re cool innit?).

    Are we watching the same show?

    Clarkson’s most at home in the pages of The Sun, not noted for its liberal politics. On all things environmental, health & safety and nanny-state, he’s a sceptic and a libertarian.

    The attitude on cars is not part of any cultural crusade. They go where the best cars are made. And that’s not America.

    Sadly.
    .

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  23. Peter says:

    This isn’t simply a matter of road safety,it is the point that the BBC is again acting as Pravda for the government.
    When the BBC allows itself to be the popanganda arm of government,whether in a worthy cause or not it undermines its credibility in all other pronouncements.
    The BBC has debased its currency.

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  24. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Hillhunt | 27.02.08 – 3:42 pm |

    Clarkson’s most at home in the pages of The Sun, not noted for its liberal politics. On all things environmental, health & safety and nanny-state, he’s a sceptic and a libertarian.

    I know. He’s the buffoon. That’s his shtick, and it’s why he’s allowed to speak his mind. May (Classically trained pianist = long-haired boring git) is also playing the role of the pedantic and anal conservative type.

    The attitude on cars is not part of any cultural crusade. They go where the best cars are made. And that’s not America.

    They call cars like they see them, yes. But their occasional America bashing has nothing to do with cars. And it’s more Clarkson than Captain Slow or the little one.

    Are we watching the same show?

    Yes, but you are obviously watching from a different vantage point.

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  25. Martin says:

    Hillhunt: The reason the BBC employs Clarkson and co is very simple.

    Ratings, ratings and ratings.

    Not to mention Top Gear is sold overseas and has won a load of awards.

    However, you don’t see BBC bosses talking up Top Gear, unlike some of their more “arty” shows that win awards.

    I remember Claskson once saying after they won some big award (an Emmy I think) that no one from BBC management bothered to say well done to them.

    Top Gear gets something like 8-9 million viewers, something the BBC knows that if it let them go they’d lose to Channel 4 or ITV.

    It does not employ them because of political balance.

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  26. Hillhunt says:

    Martin:

    It does not employ them (the Top Gear crew) because of political balance.

    Agreed.

    My point is that Oslo/Mr Orange’s whinge that the BBC is institutionally biased against motorists, and hypocritically so doesn’t wash when BBC2’s most high profile series gives a megaphone to such doughty anti-Greens as Clarkson and his crew.
    .

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  27. Joe (The Netherlands) says:

    Hillhunt,

    Clarkson has two weekly pieces in the Sunday Times, which is pretty liberal.

    Reading between the lines of DV’s article I am guessing that he is trying to start a debate on the lack of BBC programmes which allow a balanced argument to take place.

    Could I also point out Hillhunt that on Mark Mardells Euro Blog his latest entry is obviously anti-car and pro-green in nature.

    Saying that I do not think that the BBC is biased against motorists, rather it is clever enough to know that it is pointless trying to compete with the most watched motor show in the world, and one of the BBC’s commercial arms most profitable shows.

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  28. The People's Front of Judea says:

    I just found this comment from David Vance on another thread and thought I’d paste it here just as a reminder to people.

    “David Vance:

    Hillhunt,

    You make light of the grief experienced by those who lost loved ones to terrorists and I trust readers will note this.I find you to be the lowest form of scum and will no longer engage with you. Since I’m moderating this blog these days here’s a clear direction from me – go away. You add nothing but squalor and it’s time you were dealt with firmly. See the door? – take it.”

    But the buzzing noise still persists? Can anyone else hear it?

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  29. Lembit says:

    “Where was the voice of someone saying that our cars are private property and what we do in them is our business so long as it is not illegal? – Driving recklessly or without due care and attention is illegal.

    “Where was the voice to challenge the intrusion of the State into how we drive our cars?” -The State telling us how we should drive our cars?!?! Imagine that…as in the Highway Code? the Driving test? the copious amounts of legislation dealing with cars and driving?

    Cassandra says “Anyone with knowledge of the organisation of this kind of operation knows that a BBC crew could not have got there in time …”

    Did it occur to you that the BBC might have some camera crews in the vicinity of the Houses of Parliament?

    And that a protest group, seeking to attract media attention, might get on their mobiles and ring the BBC?

    As to your statement “An ivestigation into this would show that the eco activists have supporters within the BBC high command structure” – This is completely unsubstantiated, how do you come to know the conclusions of a non-existant investigation?

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  30. Hillhunt says:

    Judean Popular Front:

    I just found this comment from David Vance on another thread and thought I’d paste it here just as a reminder to people.

    Well done. I found this one, too, and thought it worth importing…

    Hillhunt:
    Mr Orange:

    You make light of the grief experienced by those who lost loved ones to terrorists and I trust readers will note this.

    That’s certainly one way of looking at it.

    Another might be to suggest that you wish to pursue your rejectionist and undemocratic (1.5% of the Ulster electorate supported your stance in 2007) agenda on the Irish peace process by claiming that all who suffered from terrorism support your crusade.

    The whole province suffered in those terrible years and yet it endorsed the process and voted into power the parties who now sit in the Assembly.

    I have no desire to mock suffering. I’ve seen enough of it myself. But other people’s funerals are not adequate cover for your maverick and tribalist agenda.
    .
    Hillhunt | 27.02.08 – 11:53 am | #

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  31. deegee says:

    “Where was the voice of someone saying that our cars are private property and what we do in them is our business so long as it is not illegal?”

    When your private property is progressing along the highway at 50-110 kph I really do think it is the state’s business.

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  32. David Vance says:

    PFOJ,

    You’re right – the buzz is still there when I have made it clear where the exit door is located, maybe a push will have to be administered?

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  33. Atlas shrugged says:

    I ride a motor cycle in London every working day. Since the new laws concerning the use of mobile phone without a hands free facility I have been almost killed twice by people using mobile phones. Almost knocked off virtually every day.

    On a MC you get to see many things that you dont so much just driving cars. That is that there are now more people using mobiles while driving very badly indeed, then at anytime in the past.

    Libertarians like myself have always believed that the law used to simply ban things, is at best not very good and at worse positively counter productive in changing human behavior.

    Taking direct personal responsibility for the results of your ACTIONS is the best if not the only way, to achieve positive liberating change.

    There is much evidence to support this belief. The smoking ban in the US being a good example. No change in the amount smoking in California has been detected after 10 years or so. What has been noted is a steep rise in the amount of other legal and illegal drugs being consumed.

    Yet we now have an even more draconian smoking ban in the UK in spite of concrete evidence it does not reduce smoking, but most likely does have very harmful side effects indeed.

    But this is not new. We KNOW banning things does not work. We KNOW it very often makes the situation far worse. Not only this banning things makes money for straight forward criminal gangsters and criminals in the vastly corrupt and establishment controlled so called legal DRUGS industry.

    Young people especially, love to do things they believe are a bit naughty. It makes it all so sexy. When cannabis was legal only about 150,000 people used it on a regular basis in the UK. Decades later the figure is estimated to be over 4 million and rising. As is the general use of illegal and legal drugs of all descriptions.

    So why if we KNOW the above, does the BBC promote the banning of just about every and anything that criminals in, or allied to, the establishment can then make fortunes providing or trying and failing to mitigate?

    The cost of banning things is truly astronomic on all accounts financial spiritual and human. It is so astronomic it is very hard to put a true number on the full vastness of the figures involved. One things for sure the figure however incredibly enormous, is rising every day.

    If you REALLY want people to drive safely this can only be done by much improved TRAINING. We have so many bad dangerous and uncaring drivers on the road, mobile phone use in itself, is the least of our problem.

    It would be infinitely better to TRAIN people not only to drive properly using a hands free set. But seriously fail them if they cant do it traveling at possibly more then 50% over the speed limit. This murder on our roads could quickly be resolved if we also had regularly updated 5 year retests.

    I think I have explained why we do not, and why no British politicians are even considering such a well tried and tested solution. If not lets put it this way.

    They dont give a flying fig about your life and liberty. They just want to repress and depress your existence. While making plenty of money and therefore power for themselves and there co-conspirators. One of which is the BBC.

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  34. Disinterested Bystander says:

    PFOJ,
    You’re right – the buzz is still there when I have made it clear where the exit door is located, maybe a push will have to be administered?
    David Vance | 27.02.08 – 10:10 pm |

    I think the aspiring idiot savant was told to Foxtrot Oscar from Guido’s blog as well, however it’s so easy to get up his nose.
    No need to bait the hook, he just bites every time, but then again he’s not the brightest star in the firmament is he. More a solo neuron in search of like-minded souls to form an intellect and failing. I mean just look at his blog, look at it, what a disaster zone. A twilight of reason.
    Might be worth keeping him around if only for the entertainment value.

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  35. Peter says:

    “Might be worth keeping him around if only for the entertainment value.”

    Is there a taxidermist in the house?

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  36. deegee says:

    Is there a taxidermist in the house?
    Peter | 28.02.08 – 1:42 am |

    Personally, I think he is less annoying and more to the point than last time. Sometimes he even agrees with points that no reasonable person could argue with. Maybe there are two of him?

    SCROLL

    SCROLL

    SCROLL

    You have arrived at a less aggravating place. HAPPY NOW 🙂

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  37. Cockney says:

    AS,

    Re: the smoking ban. I am wholly against banning things which should be matters of personal choice but pubs, bars, restaurants etc are a lot nicer smoke free and as a smoker it’s been quite pleasant smirting outside.

    The best thing now would be to repeal the ban. Based on the various opinion polls I reckon about 30-50% of pubs would stay smoke free (compared to maybe one in London pre ban) offering real choice. Think the market just needed a bit of a kick up the arse on this one.

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  38. The People's Front of Judea says:

    David Vance:
    “You’re right – the buzz is still there when I have made it clear where the exit door is located, maybe a push will have to be administered?”

    Please do David. And let’s hope he has to fall from a high place in the process.

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  39. Atlas shrugged says:

    Cockney

    You are in an optimistic mood, are you not?

    Yes you are right. I could be wonderful if this did happen but I very much fear it will not now whoever gets into power. One this however, I could be wrong, and very much wish I am.

    Libertarians like many things have slightly different opinions on the smoking ban. I for one think that smokers do NOT have the automatic right to smoke anywhere. The answer is in property rights.

    He who owns the place makes the rules.

    The state should simply fuck off and mind their own corrupt dishonest authoritarian business. Except that if the private business does have its own no smoking policy the state can in force this by law, and should do so, but only when asked to by the landlord.

    We long ago seem to have given up on libertarian thinking as the basis of British law.

    You can ask yourselves which political party and which State Broadcasting Corporation are most responsible for this disaster.

    I know which ones I blame almost entirely.

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  40. George R says:

    Of course, the BBC has no criticism or cartoons of the ‘Islamic car’:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7089707.stm

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  41. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    To say that this is a ‘minor’ issue is beyond dumb. People get KILLED as a result of such behaviour, you pathetic asshole.

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  42. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    “The law defines the public highway to include anywhere the public have access so you could certainly be prosecuted for using you phone in a vehicle in your own driveway” –

    Untrue. I was once prosecuted for an alleged offence (nothing to do with phones), and it was thrown out of court because it was a private road, even if accessible to the public.

    “Why I oppose the current legislation is that it has taken away from the police the requirement to prove that you are causing a hazard & replaced it with a catch all offence” –

    By this absurd token, nobody would ever be prosecuted for speeding, or not wearing a belt, or going through a red light when no other car was within 500 yards.

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  43. Ben says:

    George R | 29.02.08 – 5:36 pm | #

    What’s there to criticise exactly?

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  44. Sue says:

    Nothing. What an innovation. It could also have ample wife seating.
    Headlight dhimmiier.
    Apostacy (ejector) seat.
    Modesty window veils, (reduces windscreen to slit.)
    Infidel detector.
    Stone compartment/ Lash drawer.
    Haj Nav.
    Hands free steering.
    great idea.

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  45. Bryan says:

    Sue, thanks for the laugh. Great stuff.

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