7:23pm Wednesday 9th January 2013
By Peter Barron
Large sums of money are justifiably spent every year on highlighting the dangers of drink driving and speeding, with regular police campaigns aimed at preventing the loss of life.
But the recklessness of those who use mobile phones while driving is given nowhere near the same kind of attention.
Stand at any roundabout in any town for a short period and it is a near-certainty that someone will try to negotiate it with one hand on the wheel and the other holding a phone. It is alarmingly common.
And even worse, it is clear that there is no shortage on our roads of motorists who are busily texting while hurtling along.
In tomorrow's paper, there is a story about a motorist, Susan Noble, 29, of Seaham, who was jailed for a fatal accident on the A19, near Northallerton. Alexandru Braninschi, 24, was killed when his stationary car was hit at 70mph by Noble's car while she was sending and reading text messages.
It defies belief that someone could be that stupid; so reckless with the lives of others.
A report by the Transport Research Laboratory has now revealed that using a mobile phone behind the wheel is even more dangerous that driving under the influence of drink or drugs.
The use of mobile phones while driving is a crime which needs to be placed under the same kind of spotlight as drink-driving and speeding.
It is not enough to wait for accidents to happen before taking action. Too many drivers are casually taking the risk in the belief that they won't be caught - and that perception needs to be changed.
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