|London, 19 Aug 2002.
For immediate release.
"If they succeed in banning the use of hand-held phones in the name of safety, what assurance do we have that they won't move to ban hands-free phones? And what next? Will they make changing radio stations illegal? Ban passengers from speaking to the driver?"Since their introduction, mobile phones have enhanced safety by allowing drivers to contact the emergency services more quickly. On motorways, it is far safer for drivers seeing an incident to call the emergency services on a mobile phone than it is to stop on the hard shoulder.
"Existing laws are more than adequate to allow the police to stop people who are driving in a dangerous manner. In recent years drivers have been prosecuted for drinking mineral water and eating chocolate bars, why do we need another law for phones? The proposed ban on phones is excessive and unenforceable. The problem is nowhere near what the government claims, Britain's roads are the safest in the world."The ABD recognises that many drivers find the cost of a full hands-free kit too expensive, but considers that car manufacturers could virtually eliminate hand-held phone use by agreeing an international standard fitting for phones just as they have for radios, installing all wiring at the time of manufacture, and providing a slot on the dashboard into which any phone would fit via a simple adaptor.
"Once again we find the government threatening drivers instead of educating them. This is not a pro-road safety law, it is yet another anti-driver law. It will serve only to incite more contempt for the law amongst drivers who are already plagued with oppressive regulations. As Winston Churchill once said: 'If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law.'"