Welcome to the latest edition of Senior Snippets: the monthly advisory column with the older members of our community in mind, brought to you by Bryn Evans of Home Instead in Sheffield.
Just last month, the Fixed Penalty Notice for using a handheld mobile phone while driving increased significantly to a £200 fine and 6 points on your license. There have been many questions asked about the new, stricter rules, and in this edition of Senior Snippets, I will share some tips to help avoid the temptation of using a mobile device while driving.
- Turn your phone off or set the ringer to silent before you start driving. This will help with any temptations to send or receive a text or look at your phone whilst behind the wheel. One suggestion is to make the glove compartment the phone compartment.
- If it is necessary to use your mobile device for any reason, park in a safe area to do so and do not park on the hard shoulder of a motorway. Make sure to turn your engine off before you make any calls.
- Do not make any calls or send any text messages when you are stopped at traffic lights or when you are queuing in traffic as these are considered against the law.
- Don’t call people if you know they are driving. If you call someone and they tell you that they are driving, ask them to call you back when they are parked in a safe area or when they arrive at their destination.
- Send messages and make phone calls before you set off in the car.
- Even if you have a hands-free device, it is up to the discretion of the police if think you’re distracted or not in control of your vehicle. You are still at risk of being stopped and penalised even if you are using a hands-free device.
Although it can tempting to send a quick text to a family member or friend or make a quick call while you are stopped in traffic, the implications for using your phone while driving are costly. The best way to ensure your safety and those on the road around you is to turn your phone off and put it away until you have reached your destination.
To make a suggestion for a future topic, please write to me at [email protected] or by post to Home Instead, 6 Shirley House, 31 Psalter Lane, Sheffield, S11 8YL. Alternatively, you can also call me on 01142 507 709.