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Don't text while driving

Posted by Martin Ford on Friday, October 5, 2018 Under: Guest Motorcycle Articles
When you have an urgent need to send a text message while you're driving courier loads around the UK, you may wish you worked in another country. As a professional driver who earns their living from delivering packages across your region, you will naturally understand (and comply with) the UK's laws about texting and driving - basically don't! But do you know what happens abroad?



Differing laws around the globe

In the UK, almost everyone understands that it's illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while you are driving unless you need to make a 999 call. For a person delivering courier loads you cannot afford to have points added to your licence, which may lead to a driving ban that would put you out of work. By now, almost everybody understands that it's foolish and reckless to try and send a text message while you're driving.

An American magazine, Car and Driver, carried out a study that compared reaction times while driving at only 35 miles an hour. An unimpaired driver took just over half a second to be able to brake, while a legally drunk driver required four more feet to be able to stop. A person reading an email required an additional 36 feet, but the person sending a text needed an extra 70 feet to be able to halt their vehicle successfully.

For those on the road with courier loads (and, of course, any driver at all) around Australia, Canada, Germany or the Netherlands, it is totally against the law to send a text message while driving - even if your car is stationary, at traffic lights for example.

In Sweden, texting is not an offence that could lead to a ban, but they are considering whether to begin charging offenders under the reckless driving laws.

In America, the state of Florida has an odd rule that suggests that texting and driving is only a secondary offence and you can only be pulled over by the police if you are committing another offence at the same time. Just being totally distracted by sending a text is not sufficient to result in even a $30 fine unless you've broken another law!

Should you live or drive in Texas, use of your mobile phone is only prohibited around school areas, so you are free to send text messages on any highways and you won't be breaking any laws.

In Charleston, in the USA, they have brought in local laws that ban texting when you're behind the wheel, but they aren't going to issue tickets or fines until people get used to the new laws being in place.

Although it may be tempting to send a text or look at your smart phone when you're carrying courier loads, it is a proven fact that you are severely distracted from the road when you're sending or receiving a text message, while driving. So the bottom line is - no matter where in the world you are, don't text and drive.

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I have been riding motorcycles for over 30 years and still get a buzz every time I get on one. Enjoy the blog and ride safe.

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