Print 65 comment(s) - last by Schrag4.. on Aug 4 at 2:04 PM

It's a measure to stop distracted driving

UK drivers will have to hand their phones over to police in the event of a motor vehicle accident, according to a new report from The Telegraph
In an effort to cut down on the number of vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving, UK police are seizing cell phones of drivers involved to see if texting, phone calls or any other mobile-related activities took place just prior to or during the crash. 
The Association of Chief Police Officers issued the new rules. Previously, cell phones were only taken when a collision resulted in someone being killed or seriously injured, but now, it will occur with all road accidents. 
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin added that the government could also double the penalty for drivers caught texting to six points on their license.

The Telegraph said more than 500 people are thought to be killed or seriously injured every year because drivers were texting, emailing or posting on social media website. 
The U.S. has been upping awareness of distracted driving as well. In April 2013, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) released new guidelines -- which were issued by the National Highway Safety Transportation Administration (NHTSA) -- with recommendations on how and when a driver should interact with certain electronic devices. 
Later, in August 2013, a three-judge panel at the Superior Court of New Jersey's Appellate Division ruled that in some cases you can be held civilly liable under distracted driving statutes if you text a driver and they commit a vehicular crime, such as hitting someone or damaging property. 

Source: The Telegraph

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Oh gee
By Reclaimer77 on 7/29/2014 4:45:22 PM , Rating: 2
*smashes phone into pieces while waiting for police*

"I guess it must have got broken in the crash officer, here you go though."

RE: Oh gee
By Brandon Hill on 7/29/2014 4:48:42 PM , Rating: 3
Hey, if you did that in NYC, the officers would just put you in a chokehold ;)

RE: Oh gee
By quiksilvr on 7/29/2014 7:09:54 PM , Rating: 1
Dude that guy died.

RE: Oh gee
By Brandon Hill on 7/29/2014 8:02:04 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, and I read this morning about them putting a pregnant woman in a headlock. Heads are gonna roll over this stuff (if the police union backs off).

RE: Oh gee
By GotThumbs on 7/30/14, Rating: 0
RE: Oh gee
By Labotomizer on 7/30/2014 10:32:22 AM , Rating: 3
I don't think anyone is advocating getting rid of the police. Some do get a little carried away but there are bad employees in every profession. Police aren't any different, they're just people. That said they are risking their life, they never know when they pull someone over if this is the guy that's going to decide to shoot for no apparent reason. I always go way out of my way to put the police at ease when I've been pulled over.

Think about when you have a bad day at work. Now imagine what a bad day for a police officer is like. It's got to be 10x worse than anything you could have dealt with.

I got picked up once on a warrant (for a headlight I never paid since an officer I knew said he'd take care of it but never did). The sheriff's officer took me in, booked me. I couldn't reach my girlfriend at the time, I had no cash on me, so I was looking at being taken to downtown Houston at 1 AM. She was nice enough to drive me to a gas station, let me take the cash out and get a money order to pay the ticket. Afterward she even went so far as to drive me home, in a different county and drop me off. I sent her a thank you letter the next day. She had no reason to think I was different from any other a-hole out there but she went out of her way to do something nice.

As I have always said. Police are just people. They have good and bad days. There are good and bad employees. But most of them are there because they want to make the place they live a better place. Very few are doing it for the paycheck.

RE: Oh gee
By Souka on 7/31/2014 1:39:42 AM , Rating: 3
Kinda hard to record video of them abusing you (verbally or physically) since they now have your phone.

Get pulled over for signally 90ft before a right turn (should be at least 100ft), "give me your phone" and now you've lost a tool to protect you (video recording)

RE: Oh gee
By MrBlastman on 7/30/2014 10:39:19 AM , Rating: 4
I so wish the police in NY or where-ever YOU live, would take the week off.

I have a carry permit, lots of ammo and guns. I could care less. Just say NO to a police state.

RE: Oh gee
By chenjf on 7/31/2014 12:18:33 AM , Rating: 1
I could care less.

But really your solo gun wont help against multiple scumbags with guns too. That is why cops call for backup.

RE: Oh gee
By MrBlastman on 7/31/2014 12:41:22 PM , Rating: 1
Hah! Good call. "Couldn't care less," is the appropriate way to say it. :)

I'm a grammar Nazi myself so if I learn something new each day, it is a good day!

But really your solo gun wont help against multiple scumbags with guns too.

Yes, very true. Unless I'm sporting my Steyr AUG with 42-round magazines and a holographic sight. That's reserved for special "customers." ;)

I wouldn't have it with me on the street walking around, but in my home/car/anywhere else... you never know.

RE: Oh gee
By Schrag4 on 8/4/2014 2:04:54 PM , Rating: 2
But really your solo gun wont help against multiple scumbags with guns too. That is why cops call for backup.

You're absolutely correct about the long odds going against multiple armed scumbags. But the outcome would be the same if the police were on the job or if they weren't. The cops simply cannot get to you in time to help out. In nearly every case, they get there long after the crime has been committed. If given the choice of being unarmed and having the cops arrive 60 seconds after I dial 911 (they'd NEVER get there that fast) or being armed and having no cops at all, I'll take being armed any day. Again, it's long odds, but it's still better than relying on people who aren't there and won't be there for a while, and that's assuming you can magically dial 911 and communicate your distress when face to face with your mugger.

RE: Oh gee
By Reclaimer77 on 7/30/2014 10:50:54 AM , Rating: 2
Yes the man was an idiot. Yes he resisted arrest. Yes the officers were compelled to take action.

But should those things necessarily lead to a persons death? I probably would be okay with him being roughed up a little in the course of subduing him to the point that he could be handcuffed. But murdered??

The chokehold that lead to his death has been banned for 20 years. For good reason, because DUH, people can DIE from it!

Broke the law? Come on! Are you trying to say killing someone is justified if they're selling cigarettes without tax? The guy was unarmed! Cops have guns, pepper spray, tasers, rubber bullets, body armor and who-knows what else! There is NO WAY this was an acceptable response to an unarmed person "resisting arrest".

RE: Oh gee
By MrBlastman on 7/30/2014 10:58:48 AM , Rating: 3
I don't think you'll get far arguing with him... He said this, after all...

Let the complaining citizens about their local police stand up and protect themselves from crime.

He thinks they "protect" us. Most people, like him, fail to realize the police don't protect--they respond... after the crime happens. That's kind of like the garbage man arriving a week later to pick up the trash after it has already been put out to the curb.

So they can go ahead and keep thinking they are "protected." That is, until they face crime, firsthand. Then they'll be wonder, "But but, where were the cops?!" And then they show up, later, after the crime happened.

America would never be happy if we had as many cops as it would take to protect us all. That's because the cops wouldn't just be protecting us from the criminals, they'd protect us from ourselves, to. There would be no more freedom.

RE: Oh gee
By Rukkian on 7/30/2014 1:22:44 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, they are protecting in as much as people knowing there are cops (and consequences). If there were no cops, then it would basically be survival of the fittest with many people resorting to lawless behavior.

Are they everywhere, all the time? - Obviously not, but to say they do not protect is not correct.

I know many like to think every cop is a power hungry criminal, but in all reality, they are just people. There are bad ones and there are good ones. Just like any profession with a strong union, the bad ones are near impossible to get rid of.

RE: Oh gee
By MrBlastman on 7/30/2014 2:18:31 PM , Rating: 3
If there were no cops, then it would basically be survival of the fittest with many people resorting to lawless behavior.

Would it, though?

Obviously there can't be no cops. We need SOME to aid the courts. Without any, there would be no way to enforce the rule of law. Without the rule of law, as you illustrate, anarchy would prevail.

But what if everyone was armed? Would there be as much crime? If a criminal knew that the person he was about to accost or harm had a 90% likelihood of having a weapon... would they?

RE: Oh gee
By Reclaimer77 on 7/30/2014 3:41:50 PM , Rating: 1
If there were no cops, then it would basically be survival of the fittest with many people resorting to lawless behavior.

You mean like in the Old West when the per capita murder rate and violent crime rate was lower than we could ever possibly hope to achieve today even with a billion cops?

I know many like to think every cop is a power hungry criminal, but in all reality, they are just people.

Well the same is true of our military, yet I'm pretty sure countries we've invaded have a different viewpoint.

We no longer have "police" in this country. We have unlimited-funded paramilitary troops armed with military grade weapons, vehicles, and equipment.

Wake up people. We've been invaded, and we did it to ourselves.

RE: Oh gee
By blppt on 7/31/14, Rating: 0
RE: Oh gee
By Just Tom on 8/1/2014 10:53:10 AM , Rating: 2
You're wrong, the murder rate in the Old West was much higher than today. In Dodge City for example the rate was 165 per 100,000. In NYC the rate for 2014 was 4 per 100,000.


RE: Oh gee
By FITCamaro on 7/30/2014 3:54:49 PM , Rating: 2
Got 600-700 rounds of .223, 1000 rounds of hollow point 9mm, and a few hundred rounds of .380. I'll be just fine if the police take a week off.

RE: Oh gee
By kilkennycat on 7/30/14, Rating: -1
RE: Oh gee
By MrBlastman on 7/30/2014 6:35:10 PM , Rating: 2
Oh, okay. So because he owns a gun he is automatically irresponsible and negligent?


RE: Oh gee
By chenjf on 7/31/2014 3:44:58 AM , Rating: 2
Owning a gun does not do make someone automatically irresponsible or negligent but neither does it make that person the opposite of those things. But if trained professionals can be irresponsible and/or negligent at times (not all times), why cant the same be of anyone regardless of owning a gun or not? We are all part of the human race where mistakes happen regardless of intent.

RE: Oh gee
By Reclaimer77 on 7/31/2014 8:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
I'll trust the individual private gun owner over a citizen. And I'll tell you why.

How many police get thrown in jail for "accidentally" shooting someone? None.

A police officer knows he can shoot, even fatally, an innocent person and get away with it. He'll be protected by the system. The "blue wall" of silence. Even other cops that witness the act won't "rat" out on him.

Cop blows someone away, gets "administrative leave" for a few months, and then life is back to normal.

For him at least, not his victims family who will never see justice.

RE: Oh gee
By Reclaimer77 on 7/31/2014 8:14:07 AM , Rating: 3
And yet how many innocent people a year get gunned down by police? Who are supposedly highly trained experts.

RE: Oh gee
By Plazmid19 on 7/29/2014 4:57:46 PM , Rating: 5
I think a more effective solution, given that most are tethered to their phones, is to establish strict guidelines for cell phone service providers to furnish this information to law enforcement upon request. This way, law enforcement does not have to confiscate your phone. I'm sure the confiscation part is an intentional deterrent, but I don't think that will work very well. And I think most will have your reaction. Perhaps you could take it a step further making permission for the cell phone provider to furnish this information part of the drivers licence contract and the cell phone service agreement. This way you knowingly consent to this. Its a brave new world. But, cell phone distraction is becoming a major issue and solutions are needed.

RE: Oh gee
By Avatar28 on 7/29/2014 5:18:15 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think think they confiscate the phone (in the sense that they take it back to the station and lock it up in the evidence room indefinitely). I think it's more that you have to give the phone to the officer for them to dig through it and see if you were making calls or texting at the time.

RE: Oh gee
By jimbo2779 on 7/29/2014 8:46:55 PM , Rating: 5
Brother in Law was in a crash a couple of months back. They took his phone and had it for weeks, when they returned his GS4 it had miraculously become an iPhone (forget which one) either way it then took them a further week to find his actual phone before returning it.

They do not just go through it at the scene they do take it away for testing.

RE: Oh gee
By Avatar28 on 7/30/2014 9:38:33 AM , Rating: 1
Seriously? That's fucking crazy. Still, I get them taking it in the event of severe injury (although I still disagree). I can't imagine the people will be willing to accept mass confiscation of phones for EVERY minor accident. Those are far too common.

Remember a couple of years ago the news stories about how the police had devices that could do a full dump of everything on most common phones, messages, pictures, etc? I forsee them using something like that to do it.

RE: Oh gee
By Reclaimer77 on 7/29/2014 5:46:29 PM , Rating: 2
But, cell phone distraction is becoming a major issue and solutions are needed.

Yeah usher in tyranny for a handful of people?

No thanks.

cell phone service providers to furnish this information to law enforcement upon request.

With what kind of due-process and privacy protections in place exactly?

After all we know today, you still think the Government wont examine ALL the data on you phone? Whether it's related to the crash or not.

RE: Oh gee
By XZerg on 7/30/2014 1:13:20 AM , Rating: 3
a handful of people? you must be kidding me.

RE: Oh gee
By Flunk on 7/30/2014 10:09:33 AM , Rating: 1
That's right man, the rights of those who break the law are paramount!

RE: Oh gee
By Labotomizer on 7/30/2014 10:38:40 AM , Rating: 2
No, but laws that assume guilt are a problem. And laws that think they can somehow stop someone from breaking the law are even more asinine. It's like gun laws. If I shoot someone, I've assaulted and/or killed them. There are laws to deal with that. So why do we need more laws that are going to supposedly going to stop me from doing one of those things? It's redundant and leads to having the largest prison population in the world. We're constantly making laws to stop people from breaking other laws. It's crazy.

Fine, make texting illegal while driving. I have no issue with that. But you don't need to do that AND make laws that will supposedly make it impossible to text. Nor do you need laws where the police can get whatever data they want from your provider without a warrant and just cause. Sure, they could get this information from the provider today. But the judge would have to agree there is reasonable suspicion to justify granting a warrant to do so.

If someone is going to break the laws you create then trying to put other laws in place that make it more difficult and more illegal still will not stop them. It's as simple as that.

RE: Oh gee
By Labotomizer on 7/30/2014 10:43:50 AM , Rating: 2
Oh, and the rights of EVERY citizen should be paramount.

RE: Oh gee
By Reclaimer77 on 7/30/2014 11:53:14 AM , Rating: 2
Do you grasp the issue? EVERYONE involved in a collision, by law, has to hand over their phone to the police. NOT just those who "broke the law".

Try reading the article next time or using your brain.

RE: Oh gee
By SlyNine on 7/31/2014 6:55:26 AM , Rating: 2
That's right, despite your moronic sarcasm.

RE: Oh gee
By sweetca on 7/29/2014 8:55:13 PM , Rating: 2
Or, just wipe device?

RE: Oh gee
By Silver2k7 on 7/30/2014 7:49:35 AM , Rating: 2
If they take it away for testing, that wont help.
Im guessing its like windows where files deleted or a quick format on a hdd just deletes where the file was stored and frees the space for writing new files.

Some forensic software could most likly easily find whats been deleted. Unless the device is encrypted or files overwritten. But Im guessing encryption would not work either. Unless you buy a phone with somekind of military standard of encryption. But that is never the latest shiny Ithing.

RE: Oh gee
By Omoronovo on 7/30/2014 8:29:53 AM , Rating: 2
Enterprise enabled Windows Phones are all bitlocker encrypted by default.

RE: Oh gee
By Reclaimer77 on 7/30/2014 8:38:47 AM , Rating: 2
Why would they bother taking the phone for testing when they could simply subpoena the cell phone provider for information of when you were texting/calling etc etc?

Either way something is really creepy and Orwellian about this whole thing. I say just smash your phone, if enough people do it, this entire agenda is dead in the water.

And for whatever idiot reading this that's going to accuse me of being FOR distracted driving, I'll say this: There's a huge difference between prosecuting distracted drivers, and assuming EVERYONE involved in wreck is guilty of it with no due process or presumption of innocence or privacy protections.

Unfortunately in the UK, citizens don't have those things...

RE: Oh gee
By Labotomizer on 7/30/2014 11:18:40 AM , Rating: 2
Not only that but most modern phones support voice to text and text to voice for quick responses. There's no way to know if you dictated a text or manually texted.

RE: Oh gee
By SlyNine on 7/31/2014 6:57:52 AM , Rating: 2
Most dictation software does have a screen of its own.

RE: Oh gee
By marvdmartian on 7/30/2014 9:10:32 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, was thinking more along the lines of "burn phone, FTW!!" LOL

Honestly, how are they going to know the difference, unless your regular phone rings in your pocket, while you're talking to the officer?

Don't talk to the Hand talk to the Car!
By Any14Tee on 7/29/2014 5:31:22 PM , Rating: 2
My Ford Fiesta is brilliant, the main consul links up mobile via bluetooth activation, so the handset stays in my pocket.

If I wish to make a phone call, I speak to Dorothy (Ford's Siri, well not quite), well she sounds like a Dorothy, so f**king miserable, the previous Ford had a young chirpy girl,Dorothy is grumpy middle-age woman and has an attitude. Anyway, I say "Dial Name", she replies "Name please"...fantastic. "Dorothy Blow Job"..."Command Cancelled".

Why car manufacturers can't do more to improve, interface and connectivity without risk to health and limb?

RE: Don't talk to the Hand talk to the Car!
By rhangman on 7/29/2014 7:51:08 PM , Rating: 2
Hands free is better, but still far from ideal. Personally I just don't use my phone at all when I'm driving.

Maybe instead of points or fines, they should disqualify drivers? Caught using phone, you can do without either your car or phone (perps choice) for 1 month. Get caught again, 3 months, again 1 year, etc.

By Any14Tee on 7/30/2014 8:14:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hands free is better, but still far from ideal. Personally I just don't use my phone at all when I'm driving.

I think the Cat has already been let out of the bag, personally, I rather not have the distraction of the phone or kids screaming at the back while driving. Once I'm in my car the Bluetooth activates the music on my smart phone and gets played through the speakers. I'm very much in a tranquil state, don't really want to talk much, Daft Punk makes better sense.

I also think, our personal responsibility has been diminished to some degree or we simply fail to understand the consequence of our actions.

In the UK we're quite use to the 'Granny State' telling us what not to eat, or don't drink too much, don't smoke, exercise...its rammed down our throats every time. I'm sick of it, its agonizing to listen, I want to repulse in the same way, an anorexic having long yards of sausage pumped down their throats.

Ok one death by reckless driving is one too many but it does seem our tax money is wasted on Government initiatives that targets the majority when it only affects the minority but they the minority don't listen or give a flying fig.
Like many countries around the world it's illegal to drive while using your mobile and it's definitive, get caught using your mobile expect heavy fine or jail term if you seriously injure or kill some one. This for some people doesn't serve as a deterrent and basic common sense appears to have gone with the Dodo. Despite this any laws that are obtrusive is an act against our civil liberties.

You have to be one short of an Orang-utan to live an existence that relies too much of state invention, once this becomes the norm you begin to lose sight of basic freedoms. Making you surrender your mobile after an accident is a presumption of guilt without trail. I believe the state should be concerned with raising the standard of living and give back to the people the ownership of good sense.

RE: Don't talk to the Hand talk to the Car!
By M'n'M on 7/29/2014 8:14:53 PM , Rating: 2
Why car manufacturers can't do more to improve, interface and connectivity without risk to health and limb?

Various studies have indicated that just talking on the phone, hands free, is distracting enough to cause an accident. So Siri or Dorothy aren't good enough.

Or so it's said.

I contend that that nature of the conversation matters. A spouse screaming at you, a boss demanding this or that, etc are very different, distraction index-wise, than BSing about last night's game or telling the spouse you're on the way home. I contend that certain people remember that their primary concern, when at the wheel, is to drive the damn car. Others can't or won't.

So I have to wonder at the artificiality of some studies. And what to do, law-wise, w/those whose ignore their driving duty. When is it acceptable to penalize the majority for the crap behavior of the minority ? And can those crap drivers be the ones to be singled out ?

RE: Don't talk to the Hand talk to the Car!
By retrospooty on 7/30/2014 8:13:11 AM , Rating: 2
"Various studies have indicated that just talking on the phone, hands free, is distracting enough to cause an accident."

So is talking to your passengers, yelling at your kids, eating, changing radio station, looking for the headlights switch, using NAV, etc. We cant outlaw all of it. At some point, the laws have to stop and you have to rely on personal responsibility.

By Avatar28 on 7/30/2014 9:34:22 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. I've nearly swerved off the road on more than one occasion dicking with the radio or looking for a certain light switch. At some point you've got to either accept that some minor distractions are okay for most people (e.g. talking on hands free, talking to passengers, operating the radio etc) or just ban everything that might be distracting until self-driving cars are available.

By M'n'M on 7/30/2014 10:51:20 AM , Rating: 2
So is talking to your passengers, yelling at your kids, eating, changing radio station, looking for the headlights switch, using NAV, etc. We cant outlaw all of it. At some point, the laws have to stop and you have to rely on personal responsibility.

Agree 100%

By MZperX on 7/30/2014 12:21:09 PM , Rating: 2
All good points. Putting a law like this in place also begs the question: what would be the verdict on streaming services? I use my phone all the time to stream music / radio while driving. It's no different from listening to the actual car radio but I have more choices, better selection, customized playlists etc.

So, let's say I'm in a fender bender type accident where I wasn't at fault (someone bumped into me) but the forensic phone analysis shows that I was streaming data when it happened. Does that mean that I'm automatically deemed an unattentive driver? Needless to say I would vehemently disagree with that point of view. This is a huge gray area...

By atechfan on 8/1/2014 9:34:50 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone who cannot drive safely while holding a hands-free conversation is too stupid to be driving anyway. The problem isn't the devices. The problem is that driver's licenses are far too easy to get. Make the process harder to weed out more of the incompetent morons.

How do they know you committed a crime?
By Avatar28 on 7/29/2014 4:54:31 PM , Rating: 4
If you were using hands free or received a text message but didn't look at it, how do they know? Most people don't know down to the second exactly when an accident occurred. They would be lucky to be able to narrow it to less than a 10 minute or so window. How do they know that you didn't send the text or make that call AFTER the accident occurred?

RE: How do they know you committed a crime?
By Plazmid19 on 7/29/2014 5:05:04 PM , Rating: 2
That is a VERY good point. Perhaps specific laws dealing with distracted drivers need to include provisions requiring eye witness accounts for verification. Else, the judge would have to be careful in considering the inaccuracy of phone records. What exactly is the law trying to do here is the question. I would think that we are trying to imperfectly prevent accidents from distracted driving and to punish those guilty of causing an accident. However in the later case, does it really matter what the cause was if you can determine who is at fault? The crime was the accident, not the phone.

By Avatar28 on 7/29/2014 5:23:44 PM , Rating: 2
I don't know what the law is in the UK. Maybe it's illegal to use a hands free device too? If not, well, I can send text messages using Cortana/TellMe and the phone will read all the incoming ones aloud. A few months ago I was on a trip and carried on an entire text message conversation for several miles without ever having to touch my phone or take my hands off the wheel beyond activating it for the first message (just required holding down a button for a couple seconds, car won't activate an assistant).

RE: How do they know you committed a crime?
By nafhan on 7/29/2014 5:25:48 PM , Rating: 5
They don't. This law falls squarely into the category of: "laws thought up by politicians who are interested in looking like they're doing something productive regardless of the facts".

There's so much stupid here it's mind boggling.

By Dorkyman on 7/29/2014 11:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
I find this story hard to believe.

By gookpwr on 7/29/2014 6:56:58 PM , Rating: 2
Can I take a pic with my phone of some b!tch driving and putting on her effing makeup and send that to the police to have her skinned alive?!?! using a phone is distracting, but a chic putting on her face is the worst! How come nobody is up in arms about this like they are phone usage? Just curious.

So how many people will now die...
By siconik on 7/30/2014 3:41:17 AM , Rating: 4
So how many people will end up dead because now instead of using their cell phones to call for help immediately after the accident, motorists will either hide their cells or frantically rimmige through their contents to purge anything incriminating/emberasing/confidential ahead of the massive privacy violation they are about to undergo?

Great Britian
By coburn_c on 7/30/2014 3:43:48 AM , Rating: 2
Where there is no freedom too small nor inconvenience too large to sacrifice to the god of health and safety. (aka insurance companies)

What a nation of pussies.

Truly asinine
By Shadowself on 7/30/2014 9:31:11 AM , Rating: 2
Later, in August 2013, a three-judge panel at the Superior Court of New Jersey's Appellate Division ruled that in some cases you can be held civilly liable under distracted driving statutes if you text a driver and they commit a vehicular crime, such as hitting someone or damaging property.

I'd wager a significant sum that for most people texting someone else when they send that first text they have very little idea that the person receiving their text is driving. How is the original sender going to verify ahead of time that the recipient is not driving? I can understand this ruling if, and only if, the person with whom you are exchanging texts has informed you that they are driving. Baring that, this ruling is truly asinine.

And, to the overall issue, several good points have been made here with which I fully agree.

The coming "hands free and eyes free" systems (if they live up to the hype and truly are both "hands free and eyes free") are no more distracting than having your spouse or kids in the car -- and likely less distracting than having a pet roaming free in the car. Why should a person using one of these new systems be treated more restrictively than someone arguing with their spouse's parent who is sitting in the back seat?

Plus, I do believe timing will be an issue. While phone logs can be quite precise, the actual time of the accident, unless their are multiple witnesses who are taking time stamped photographs of the accident within a second of two of the event, is likely to be off by several minutes. An officer could easily, wrongly argue that a person was calling his/her spouse immediately prior to the accident when the reality was that the person was making the call to say they were delayed because the accident just happened.

Further, this UK ruling makes limited sense only for those individuals who might have caused the accident. When I'm traveling to the UK or other countries for business I don't use my phone much (roaming charges, data charges, etc. can be outrageous). However, I know many who do. If they get into an accident that is quite clearly NOT their fault, will the police take their phone? Will they then have no phone of the remainder of the trip (and maybe not for many, many weeks after they get back to their home country)? Buying a new phone and setting up service while in a different country can be a major pain.

I do believe such things as texting while driving (not using a truly hands free system) is dangerous. I admit that I get quite annoyed when I pass another driver, or that other driver passes me, and that other driver is staring at his/her lap for the full time it takes to make the pass. Those individuals are just accidents waiting to happen.

By mackx on 7/30/2014 3:22:34 PM , Rating: 2
it just shows you using data no? unless they dig deeper. you cant say data usage means anything as apps auto update.

i dont like this - and i don't drive. can't imagine the hassle trying to get back the phone even if you were the innocent party.

Why take the phone?
By kilkennycat on 7/30/2014 4:56:17 PM , Rating: 2
In the case of a traffic incident, surely the relevant cell-phone records are readily accessible by the UK police? The only additional information potentially provided by seizure of the phone might be the message content. Unlikely to be relevant to the incident, except maybe in the case of a suicidal driver....

I question the base statistics
By GatoRat on 7/30/2014 6:54:47 PM , Rating: 2
The methods by which government has determined the "danger" of cell phones is highly problematic. If there is an accident and a cell phone is found at the scene, it is blamed.

This isn't limited to cell phones either. A few years ago, I worked in the Trucking Industry and one long time driver with a perfect record received a moving violation when another vehicle went off the road and struck his parked truck (which was safely parked where it was supposed to be)!

This is the tip of the iceberg. The NHTSA and FMCSA do some good and valuable work, but are still governmental bureaucracies and are constantly looking for ways to increase their power.

Seems like liberals hate guns
By Dobo on 7/30/2014 7:07:37 PM , Rating: 2
Seems only on conservatives only believe in the 2nd amendment when

Just Normal in U.K.
By wsc on 8/2/2014 8:07:13 AM , Rating: 2
Nowadays UK is a police state, so taking a citizen's phone for being near accident is just a small addiction to the sheepherding toolset already in place. Once upon a time 'ol England has had a visionaire who wrote an utopian plan for an ideal state. The plan was called Nineteen Eighty-Four, its author name was George Orwell and it was published in 1949. Any UK government since did (and does) work hard to get this sketch of ideal governance real.

Did you know that:

- There is almost six million (6.000.000) cctv cameras surveiling UK's citizenry 24/365 (one camera per eleven people)?

- That almost 780.000 of such cameras are placed at schools, hospitals and care homes?

- That almost 2000 of such cameras are placed by the government inside homes (incl. bathrooms) of 'dysfunctional families'? To protect endangered children of course.

- That not divulging a password that lets police read your encrypted mail or files will earn you up to 5 years in prison? That your password can be demanded for the purpose of *preventing* crime or in the interests of the economic well-being (of the U.K)?

If you did not, now you know.

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