Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nanny State Latest: Conversation to be Banned in Cars?

The latest manifestation of the Nanny State is that soon we will be banned from using Hands Free mobile phones in cars because "the act of holding a conversation is distracting" to the driver. So the logic of that is that no one should be able to talk in a car and the Police should be able to arrest people for opening their mouths in cars. I suppose one could pretend to be a mime artist!

The use of a Hands Free mobile phone will enable the Police to give an on the spot £60 fine and the driver will get 3 points on their licence if the Police feel the driver isn't in control of the car properly.

Why don't they go the whole hog? They could ban smoking while driving too while they are at it. I would have thought having only one hand on the wheel was far more dangerous than talking while driving. they could ban me from listening to Meat Loaf in my car too. Or from looking out of the window. Surely being distracted by the view is just as bad as being distracted by a conversation?

In fact, let's ban cars. Because that's the agenda of these 'safety fascists', whether they admit it or not.


Anonymous said...

Er Ian, its hand-held phones not hands-free that will attract the penalty. Otherwise it would be illegal to have a conversation with the passengers...

Anonymous said...

I would't be surprised in the slightest - knowing what this bunch of missfits we call a government come up with...

Anonymous said...

Vote UKIP Iain - the only party standing for small Government! ;-)

Iain Dale said...

anonymous 11.32. No. hand held phones are already illegal. It's hands frees that they want to ban too. Your second sentence makes my case...

Anonymous said...

So, will we be able to make a citizen's arrest of any plod we see on their radio/phone/whatever whilst about their business? More nanny-state bollocks.

ps On the subject of anti-car fascists, anything bigger than a Micra now seems to be on the BBC's hate radar, if what I saw on the breakfast news this morning was any sort of guide. Meanwhile Top Gear returns soon. What a bunch of tosspot hypocrites!

Anonymous said...

From the press release which I was spammed NINE times.

1. Section 26 of the Road Safety Act 2006 increases the fixed penalty for drivers using a hand held phone or similar device. This section is being commenced on 27 February, and the penalty will then rise from £30 to £60 and three penalty points. The same changes are being made to the penalties for not having proper control of a vehicle - a measure which can also be used where a driver has been distracted by using a hands-free mobile phones.

Anonymous said...

Excatly iain ,anons are a paradox aren`t they so keen to post they don`t read ; and then they disguise who is responsible .

This is appalling news and well done to you for flagging it. I do not doubt for a second that quizzling employees aka scientists will be lined up to give their "expert witness" account , of the special danger of hands free conversation.They work ceaselessly to discover the secret of passive drinking

The state wants its hand over our mouths , in our pockets and governement by exhortation is tantamount to getting its grubby paws in our souls.

I need a virus and spyware overhaul

Anonymous said...

So what's the Conservative Party response?
Are they going to oppose it?
Probably not, though sound-bites disparaging 'nanny-statism' can be expected.
Sound and fury and signifying nothing.

Personally, I think the tory party has more pressing things to worry about.

Latest ICM poll (as reported in the Groan) has Lab on 31% and Tories on 37% - a fall of 3% since last month.

Sure, individual polls are only rough guides, but they are useful for spotting trends - and this one looks very bad for the CP.

Labour leadership up to their necks in sleaze or worse, serial incompetence in all the major ministries, mistrusted and mocked by the vast majority of the electorate, yet the tories can't get a lead in double figures.

OK, I'm no fan of Dave and I resigned my membership of the party, but I'm still a conservative with a small 'c' - and I fear that those in charge of what is laughingly called the opposition are in the process of snatching defeat from the jaws of what should be a certain victory.

Knocking UKIP isn't really making much of a difference; in fact it leaves the impression that those at the top would rather see support from the right defect than consider modifying policies to create 'big tent' toryism. Further, it suggests that policy is the business of the few and that the rest can damn well shut up and be good little soldiers - or get out. For a political philosophy that attracts the more individualistic of the population, this, for the party, is the equivalent of cutting your own throat.

I realise that you, as a potential parliamentary candidate as well as a political blogger, may have a reluctance to not toe the party line or risk embarrassment to its leaders. However, your chances of being elected will depend, to a greater or lesser extent, of the perception that potential supporters have of the party, it's policies and it's leaders.

Said leadership is in dire need of the repeated application of a cattle prod to the rear end to help them face reality. Poll leads of between 6 - 9% do not indicate a winning strategy, not at this stage of a parliament and not with a government in the state of disarray that this one is.

The strategy of taking the (mythical?) centre ground just because they aren't labour but have promised to be nice isn't working.
King Log looks like a failure.

So the big question is - what are they going to do about it?

Anonymous said...

As I pointed out yesterday -why worry - where are the police to enforce the current legislation -so this new aspect will be equally unenforced.

Anonymous said...

About time , does this include the police ,the fire brigade ,taxi drivers ,the army .

Anonymous said...

Under the previous law I understood that the use of a CB was NOT banned -so does that mean we can all legally have a CB radio in one hand? 10-4 good buddy?

neil craig said...

"safety fascists" do indeed have this Luddite agenda (I recently made fun of the Scottish lib Dems having 2 motions on the need to encourage cycling by cutting the speed limit to 20mph).

In the same way "environmentalists" & global warming supporters overwhelmingly have the same Luffite agenda as proven by their consistent opposition to nuclear the only workable way of producing CO2 free power.

Many of these highly respected &well funded "heritage" lobbyists are equally Luddite with a knee jerk reaction against anything new.

The smoke banning fascists are just fascists.

Which leaves the question Iain if you want to take on the banners what place is there for you in Cameron's Conservatives?

Anonymous said...

I guess at least one Labour MP will be against this.

After all, it'll be a waste of police time, what with the terrorist threat.


Anonymous said...

How would it be enforced ,would there be a big red light on your car when you transmit ,you lyin b@@@@@d copper I was just singin to myself

Anonymous said...

Yes, but the point is that they are not enforcing the ban on hand-held mobiles. I get so pissed off seeing drivers going round with mobiles in one hand that I am tempted to suggest we could just start shooting them, as the police don't seem to take a blind bit of notice.

This is nothing to do with 'safety fascism' - it is do with a government more intent on headline-grabbing than implementing any actual policies.

Mind you, I would be all in favour of giving you 6 points for a heinous crime like listening to Meatloaf, are you sure you want to admit to having such dreadful taste in music?

Anonymous said...

Crikey, Iain, you are getting closer to the sort of 'old fart' that gets offered a column on the 'Daily Mail' every single day...Cue

'World's gone mad...'

'I don't beeelieeeve it...

'Was never like that in my day...

'Youth of today don't know they're born..'

Anonymous said...

BT- said Latest ICM poll (as reported in the Groan) has Lab on 31% and Tories on 37% - a fall of 3% since last month.

I think that reflects the imminent departure of Blair and defacto Brown premiership. there was bound to be abounce , don`t panic. If you are worried BT why not rejoin the party stop sulking in your tent and do something useful At the moment you might just as well be a member if the Labour Party Comrade BT.

Thanks for your personal contribution to my taxes in particular.Everything you say can aonly be sound and fury signifying nothing .

Whispering Walls said...

Will they also be banned for traffic police?

Man in a Shed said...

What about talking to your chauffeur in your ministerial limousine ?

Anonymous said...

Good to know that you are keeping your finger on the pulse of the really vital political stories of the day...

What next, a feature about how those beachcombers are :-

chavvy scumbags

illiterate thieves

benefit scrounging tossers

public spirited environmentalists helping to clear up the detritus of global capitalism and preventing the non-biodegradable products of an oil based economy from ruining the beach

[Delete as appropriate..]

Anonymous said...

Interesting comments.

As Dizzy said it is primarily at hand held, but COULD include hands free where the driver was "distracted".

How the Police are going to prove distracted is anyone's guess, in the case of a hands free.

I did follow a driver down the A23 towards Brighton who was clearly talking to her friend sat in the passenger seat. She was in the outside over taking lane doing 60 MPH, (in a 70 zone) with no cars to over take, and not paying any attention to the road at all, especialy behind her.

The reason she got away with it was that there were no police. Now there are less and more reliance on cameras I can't see anything being enforced though.

Anonymous said...

Iain, It is about time you explained why you are so pro-car ?

Do you actually ever walk anywhere ?

Have you ever actually ridden a bike ? Do you ever use public transport?
Or do you think that it is beneath you to mix with the 'hoi polloi'.

If not I suggest you shut up about valid attempts to make the roads safer for those that use them, which don't just consist of people using the 'infernal combustion engine', as if you hadn't noticed..

Anonymous said...

Perhaps the reason for the law is that on most handsfree phones you still have to dial the number, which would mean taking your eyes off the road.

If you're just driving along talking on a handsfree, I doubt the police are going to do anything. If you're texting while doing 40 on the north circular, or looking for Guido's name in your phonebook, the police might pull you over.

I guess the police will have to show a little discretion.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...tricky one. Although like you and many of your readers, I despise being nannied, I do find that even using a hands-free distracting in the way that talking to passenger is not.

When one is on the phone, a portion of one's brain enters into that 'virtual' environment, and therefore away from the actual environment - the car and the road etc.

This is distinct from when one is having a chat with someone in the passenger seat, because they are part of the actual environment, and your brain does not need to engage in involuntary visualisation in the same way as it does when you are on the phone.

I feel that I can walk and chew gum, but I once had a 20-minute hands-free call when on the road, and at the end of it, was shocked to realise that I had barely thought about the act of driving down a busy M3. Had something unusual happened on the road during my conversation, I'm sure my reaction time would have been slower than had I been simply chatting to someone in the car.

Think about when you're chatting to someone in a room and a third person interrupts. It's rude and annoying, but you can cope with it. Now think about when you're chatting on the phone and someone in the room tries to talk to you. I suspect many are like me, and find that intensely irritating, and we bat the intruder away as if they were a wasp. This is because when we're on the phone, hands-free or not, we've partially entered into another, 'virtual', environment, and our brains are less suited to being in two environments at once.

In short, our brains are good, but unless we're Tornado pilots, not that good. As I believe 90% of the public aren't fit to drive as it is, anything that makes them better has to be a good thing.

Right, eyes back on the road.

Anonymous said...

Hands-free is just as dangerous. See:


Anonymous said...


check out the beeb political page.
Paul Dacre in his Cudlipp speech - the Conservative Party cannot take the support of the Daily Mail for granted at the next election. The Daily Mail supports conservatism and it's by no means certain that the party led by David Cameron is conservative.

I suggest you pull your head out of the dark part of your anatomy where it currently seems to be placed.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the rights and wrongs of banning phones and not smoking, fiddling with radios (a relative had a very nasty head on crash when fiddling with the radio) or CB, this is another pointless bad law.

What happened to driving without due care? Doesn't that cover this already?

How many people have been fined under the existing law, anyway?

As a cyclist I do get irritated by people weaving about and not paying attention whilst yakking on their phones (can't it wait until you arrive?) but this is just a waste of time.

Anonymous said...

How can anyone prove conclusively, to the satisfaction of a court if it is challenged, that a driver was distracted by a conversation? I talk to myself and other road users the whole time when driving, sometimes in less than complimentary terms. Is it to be a criminal offence to shout "You stupid bugger, you should have signalled!"?

The rules are unenforceable, like so much NuLab drivel which passes as legislation. It's all done to "send out a message", but who bothers to listen any more?

Anonymous said...

Its true enough that all this stuff can distract drivers - however the most dangerous thing I ever saw myself happen to a driver was a prolonged and vigorous sneezing attack.. Now, a person with a severe cold "Is aware or should be aware" that they might have such a potentially distracting attack, which might lead them to drive dangerously, so people with colds or flu should be banned from driving.. like people with epilepsy.

Anonymous said...

Good spot.

You are not allowed to eat, or kiss in your car, why not conversation - it'll save the arguments with the wife when she gives directions.

I tried to wee into a bottle once when I was driving. I can tell you it was difficult! The only thing that stopped me was the examiner hitting his hand on the dash board :-))

Anonymous said...

The best way to make the roads safe is to legall enforce everyone to drive 4x4's which acheive less than 20mpg.

Not only will people be safer when they crash into other, but it will alos save the environment quicker than is currently happenig by burning what opil we do have much faster. The sooner it runs out the sooner car development will take alternative fuel sources seriously.

Anonymous said...

apologies for typos. Fat fingers.

Anonymous said...

This is merely extending the current ban on hand-held phones to include three penalty points. Hands-free phones remain legal, but their use is not advised.

If you are not in control of the vehicle, then the police will prosecute whether the reason is using a hands-free phone, eating or reading a map at the wheel.

This isn't about your freedom to make phone calls at all times during the day, but about the freedom of others not to have distracted drivers hurtling towards them at 90 mph.

Anonymous said...

Are you telling me it's not already illegal to listen to Meat Loaf in the car? Well it bloody well ought to be.

Anonymous said...

Logically, that little female voice inside the sat-nav should be arrested for distracting the driver. So should direction-giving wives, whether they're holding the map the right way up or not.

Anonymous said...

my best health and safety story?

some jobsworth in a hi viz jacket informed the royal marine commandos that they needed to put hand rails on parts of the assault course as it was too dangerous.
Why are wankers like that allowed to live let alone thrive?

Little Black Sambo said...

Guy Walters 12.15
If a telephone conversation puts you dangerously into a "virtual environment", what about listening to (e.g.) an enthralling play on the radio? Isn't that just as dangerous? But we know from experience that listening to the radio is not dangerous. Is there ANYTHING that our masters do not wish to regulate?

Anonymous said...

I think you'll find that, under the new legislation, smoking in cars, when more than one occupant is present, will be technically illegal, i.e. a car containing more than one person is deemed to be a public place.

Anonymous said...

Agree that this is a step too far - the ban on hand held phones is hardly being enforced at present, I was nearly hit by just such an idiot yesterday! There is already a law against driving without due care and attention - so if anyone is chatting away, listening to Meat Loaf (are people that old allowed to drive?) or letting their children riot in the back and they then have an accident - they are responsible any way.

Anonymous said...

Well they can't ban smoking while drivinng because then I really will have nowhere to smoke anymore!

Clearly they shold also ban having children in cars as well in this case since they cannot be trusted not to distract the driver.


Anonymous said...

Saw a daft old bald bloke in an Audi in Tunbridge Wells the other day - shouting at the top of his voice over some loud music with a daft dog bouncing around barking its head off. Police should have arrested him and threw away the keys.

Anonymous said...

Anyone Iain, and I mean anyone, should be horsewhipped for listening to 'Meat Loaf' at any time. As for listening to it when driving.... well they should throw away the keys!

Anonymous said...

No BT the person staring with such rapt attention at their inner fundament is your good self . Are UKIP going to win a general election.? No. In fact it is a weimarish debating society and as such attracts the preening Quixote’s who are then surprised when their leadership turns out to fatuous rabble intent on no more than self advertisement . Well they would be wouldn’t they .
So grown ups are left with the Conservative Party which you claim is no longer the Conservative Party. The other complaint is that their are no costed policies in place. Which is it to be BT the latter has a better case and the Golden Prince Cameron is right to be shifty. As we can see the tactic of Brown will be to pretend he was not there and he can expect a little boost at the sheer relief of Blair’s departure . This is exactly why the focus must be kept on the Blair government and Mac Broon`s role in it .
There are plenty of hints that the Boy King is navigating his way to low tax free country but he has to live in the electoral world , not the bedroom with its door slammed BT inhabits . In this world the people deciding the election are 800,000 or so in marginal seats and many of that number are state acolytes as we speak sucking on my money. Tax cuts means job cuts and so David sweetly calls it tax simplification. Sounds pretty good to me.
He has to seek a rapprochement with the centre as Margaret Thatcher did in 1979 and if he can soft soap the Liberals without policy commitments well what a bloody good leader has turned out to be. Cometh the hour cometh the man BT. War needed courage ,despair needed conviction, and now we need a brutal operator of the system. Thank god we’ve got one. He will welcome the disapproval of the Daily mail a prerequisite for a winning party and suffer losses in the shires where huge majorities are expendable. Good .

There may be an election soon and it is time for those self indulgent show boating protoplasmicly boneless twitchers to start making some political choices
Sometimes I find useful idiots of the Labour Party , detest the insincerity of modern politics so much , they seem prepared to vent their spleen on the one party whose fault it cannot be. A bizarre act of egomaniacal self immolation that may well have psycho sexual motivation.

In other words BT you are a pervert!..(.metaphorically speaking ). Electric shock therapy might be good idea or perhaps chemical castration (metaphorically speaking)

Help the Party !! (Literally speaking)

Yes istening to Meatloaf should be illegal and listening to Sparks should carry a life sentence.

Anonymous said...

Its ridiculous....We have a government clinging onto the last days of its reign, a Presidential figure of a PM (he wishes) with the crap so far round his neck you could mistake him for a toilet, and now they want to ban using hands free kits. Does this mean the Police will pull over everytime they want to use thier radios? Ambulance drivers will stop on the way to a 999 call. because in theory whether the driver is making the call or not, its a distraction....Tell you what maybe they could try and ban breathing in cars, as thats a distraction of sorts.

Pathetic....But im sure Greedy Gordon will fnd a way of taxing it!!

Anonymous said...

Driving whilst talking on a handsfree mobile phone is significantly more distracting than speaking to somebody else in the car with you. The brain requires much less effort to understand someone next to you owing to the improved sound quality and various other non-audio cues you receive from the other person's presence.

Speaking on a hand-held mobile phone is equally distracting as speaking on a hands-free mobile phone. Both should be banned whilst driving.


Anonymous said...

Anonymous - You say 'Driving whilst talking on a handsfree mobile phone is significantly more distracting than speaking to somebody else in the car with you'...

What !!!! - If you are talking to someone in a car there is a huge temptation to look at them to pick up non audible information.. thus it is far more distracting surely.

I can only assume you wrote your post while driving....

Anonymous said...

Isn't it time that banning things was banned. Trouble is the anti-banning activists are in a quandry... They are so wedded to anti-banning that they can't bring themselves to campaign for it... what are we to do !!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12.50 said...
Saw a daft old bald bloke in an Audi in Tunbridge Wells the other day.

Why don't the police arrest shifty-looking characters like this straight away, before they have the chance to commit a crime? They should all be locked up in jail, then we could all sleep soundly in our beds at night.

Anonymous said...

CROSS FIRE-In Iceland at some point there was rule that you could have no more laws than could be remembered by the law sayer.
Perhaps there should also be a law against laws.Why not, there is a target for targets ,

Ha I see BT has seen the error of his ways .I imagine the words "God forgive me ", are falling from his tear stained little face about now

Anonymous said...

you watch the car in front of you when there are two people in it
I call it the broken nodding dog syndrome

Philipa said...

Anonymous 12:06 - crikey that was just like reading the Mail on Sunday, cheaper too, but you forgot about the letters pages:

My boyfriend only phones me when he wants sex but says that his marriage is over, I've waited for 6 years for him to make a commitment but he says I'm selfish to rush him, do you think this relationship has a future? I've tried ending the relationship but the sound of his voice and one chorus of 'you're beautiful' makes my pants fall down. What should I do?

Hitchens - Women just can't keep thier pants on, it's a disgrace and all the fault of the nasty liberal elite. Just because I moved away from knicker elastic I didn't cease to understand knicker elastic. The married family, blah blah, hang 'em flog 'em, blah de blah.

Keith Waterhouse - women never dropped their knickers in my day, hurumphph.

Suzanne Moore - women are still wearing knickers?! Stand up for yourself woman and throw your knickers and that poor excuse for a man away.

Carol Caplin - light some candles and meditate, then dump him (on your mobile phone, after changing your home number as you're obviously so weak) Do not do this whilst driving, it's against the law.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant Phillipa ...ho ho and ha ha

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

How would it be enforced ,would there be a big red light on your car when you transmit ,you lyin b@@@@@d copper I was just singin to myself

12:02 PM

Constable: Singin' eh, have you a performance license Sir?

Anonymous said...

well of course, wonderfulforhis age. If cars with passengers are defined as public places then singing, or indeed any other "performance", is illegal without a licence.

So that's dogging we've managed to ban as well...

Anonymous said...

Crossfire said:
What !!!! - If you are talking to someone in a car there is a huge temptation to look at them to pick up non audible information.. thus it is far more distracting surely.
Not necessarily. For example, you can regularly look in your three mirrors without hitting anything. Perception's just a lot more complicated than hearing vs not-hearing, seeing vs not-seeing. Research indicates that using a hands-free telephone impedes your ability to drive. Even if you don't see why that should be the case, surely that's an argument for preventing people from doing it?

Anonymous said...

It's political correctness gone mad!!

Anonymous said...

49 comments and 17 of them by anonymous. If everyone else is courteous enough to adopt an identity that others can relate to, why are you so lazy and self-important.

I've noticed in general that posts from "anonymous" are less interesting and less well written than those by someone with an identity they've developed. I have a new policy of skipping over their posts as my eyes glaze over anyway, every time I see the word "anonymous". B-o-r-i-n-g.

Re the topic, I agree that even hands-free phones are a major distraction for the driver. I don't know why one has to concentrate harder, project oneself harder, when talking on a phone than talking to a passenger, but one does. Perhaps one is existing in two environments: one's car and the envirornment of the other. Whatever, I am very wary whenever I see a driver concentrating on a phone call instead of the road and try to distance myself from them. They are also much given to slamming their brakes on as they suddenly realise they are at the street where they had intended to turn.

This goes equally for men and women.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear.
newmania has missed his medication again.

Let me put this clearly.
I will not vote for a party that does not have policies that I can agree with.
I will not be told that I should support whatever or whoever when I do not like the whatever or whoever.
I will not help put a party in power that will then claim a mandate to do this, that or the other, if that mandate does not in fact exist (limitations/withdrawl from EU, lower taxes, yes to Grammar Schools, and so on, all strongly supported by the rank and file, but the leadership has very different views.)
Why the hell do you think I resigned from the party in the first place?

I do not expect UKIP to form a government - ever.
However, it has been considering policies that I can agree with - particularly on taxation, education and the EU.
As things stand, they'll probably get my vote *if* they get their act together.
If they don't, then it'll be a spoiled ballot paper.
But *this* conservative party will never get my vote, it's too far from my own political beliefs.

The only way Joe Public can get any politician to take note of or consider his views is to withdraw his support. That is what is starting to happen in the CP, and as Dave persists in aping NuLab and becoming LabLite, the greater that leakage of his former core constituency is likely to be.

If enough do so, a lost election will be inevitable.
To win, you have to offer something that the majority of voters want. The clique at the top of the Conservative Party is signally failing to do this. Unless *they* get their act together they'll deserve to lose.

Anonymous said...

Newmania wrote:
"Tax cuts means job cuts and so David sweetly calls it tax simplification. Sounds pretty good to me."

Sounds more like Bliar style deception to me. I'd rather lose than win on those terms.

"What shall it profit a man to inherit the earth...." etc.

Anonymous said...

Anonynous said Crossfire said..

"If you are talking to someone in a car there is a huge temptation to look at them to pick up non audible information.. thus it is far more distracting surely"

Yep, especially when she takes her top off and isn't wearing a bra. I think waving to the man in the volvo we were overtaking was a mistake too, his wife went nuts and hit him.

Is there to be a law against a wife who knows "The magic and might of her own soft mouth ? " or should women be made to do the driving then, along with everything else?

Anonymous said...

Verity - don't encourage im - you know it is madness.. Look lets just ban passengers as well and have done with it..

Got to go now as I have to tie mattresses to the outside of my car, jam in my ear plugs, smash my mobile to bits and drive in a totally undistracted manner to the shops for a pint of ultra low calory milk.... cor blimey I hope I don't see someone I know waving at me and skid off the road into a ditch in the panic and confusion...

Anonymous said...

verity - one of the joys of my life is knowing that i don't have to live with bossy fuckwits like you - and that an 'id card refusenik' like me has the power of the most powerful word in the world - to put it in the trashy vernacular so familiar to you: 'What part of 'No' don't you understand?'

And I found your reference to 'courtesy' to be the most ironic thing I've read on this blog all month.

Anonymous said...

Anon - I remember YOUR WIFE !!!

What is next eh.. Are they going to make masturbating while driving illegal next !!

What would we all do on long journeys..

Anonymous said...

verity said...
1:57 PM
I isn't goin to bite

Anonymous said...

Verity, That is what all the girls say but then you slam on the brakes and do they keep their promise...?

No. they don't and of we go for another embarrasing visit to casualty again.

Anonymous said...

I liked driving in Saudi Arabia its such a sensible place NO women drivers ?

Anonymous said...

So eating, drinking, smoking and shagging are still OK!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2.23pm said...
verity said...
1:57 PM
I isn't goin to bite

I don't blame her, it must be so limiting always having to express herself in the circumscribed persona of "Verity".

Meanwhile on topic, it can only be a matter of time before we're all banned from conversing on blogs. Too subversive to be tolerated.

Anonymous said...

I think banning Meat Loaf is entirely reasonable.

Anonymous said...

BT- I don`t take medication but when Cannabis is legal on this basis I may well start!!When you have reached my years , experience and wisdom you will be less serious and more useful.

Anon 2.17- Wash your mouth out with soap.Are you , by any chance writing whilst detained at her Majesty`s pleasure ?Your daub is dull and I can only hope recreation time is over

Anonymous said...

Having just been nearly knocked down by a man in a big car, speaking into a hand held mobile, driving with one hand, not indicating and turning into a non parking space I must say I'm all for enforcement on the mobile's. I agree the hands free is different from the hand held. But I'm not convinced that it is the same as a live conversation. In that case those conversing can see the road, not talk, never mind start a conversation when there's some tricky driving, braking, monstrous sidewinds etc etc.

Apart from today's little incident - which I have shamelessly exaggerated as I am actually an adept at dodging didgy drivers - I also suffered at the hands of a driver who was ducked beneath the dashboard of their car (picking up 'phone, cassette, looking at map, adjusting vibrator - I don't know) until split seconds before going into stationary me. Unlike them on the correct side of the road.

Anonymous said...

I thought we'd already established that I'm 20 years ahead of you in age and experience?
These young whipper-snappers simply have no idea...
gullible, that's what they are, gullible. Believe anything said by someone in a nice suit.

Anonymous said...

theo - smoking only until July, in works vehicles or vehicles going about working at least will be banned as "workplace"

not sure what the situation is if only one person - the smoker - is travelling

still a chance of passive smoking by car valeter, mechanic, TWOC-KER etc

and I'm FOR workplace smoking bans!

Anonymous said...

Iain, if you wanted to make a drastic improvement to mortality statistics in this country, banning cars would be the single easiest step to take. Why do we consider it acceptable that thousands of people each year die on the roads? If banning conversation in cars were to reduce that total by any significant number, I'd be all in favour.

Newmania - listening to Sparks should carry a life sentence? This town ain't big enough for the both of us.

Anonymous said...

I want to see all them greeny cyclists having to wear number plates, so they get nicked every time they jump red lights, and I want to see them forced to have insurance so when they've jumped a red light and get clobbered by a truck, they have cover rather than the truck driver having to pay...

Anonymous said...

press release from the Cabinet office:

From the Spring, the Cabinet Office will re-launch the 'better regulation portal' in order to collect serious and specific suggestions and examples of inconsistent or absurd regulations.

Anonymous said...

IanP said...
4:02 PM

How does that help me ,will it stop me being clipped on the side twice within a few minutes ,cycling down along straight long wide road , and this road only goes to the beach

Anonymous said...

Iain, I despair. Look around and you tell me how many numb-skulls you see driving around fannying around on a mobile. How many more people have to die because these dingbats have to have a phone glued to their ears or texting / dialing whilst driving.

If the threshold is lowered, then it is easier for cops to ticket for the above behaviours. Simple as that.

Do you really think cops are going to pull you over for having both hands on the wheel- talking or singing into the air? Get real.

Anonymous said...

Mobile phones are anti-social whether in cars, on the train or on the street. If people drive without due care and attention while using the damn things and the police stop them, then I say good. The phone should be forfeit and crushed too.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:17 - unlike newmania I can't disagree with you at all.

The point as I see it is this: we already have a law that would cover this - driving without due care and attention. But Labour has brought in how many laws?? It's changing Britain from being free to do anything unless expressly forbidden, to being free to do nothing unless expressly allowed. I think we are moving more towards an authoritarian regime.

Anonymous said...

Please Jesus, tell me it ain't true: you don't REALLY listen to "Bat out of Hell" and "Paradise by the Dashboard Light" whilst you are driving?!

All whilst moderating comments on your blackberry?!

And that's just YOU! I shudder to think of what Newmania gets up to behind the wheel!

Anonymous said...

Iain I'm glad to see that you truly appreciate the genuine agenda of the viciously anti car lunatics now in control of what passes for transport policy and policing in the ever more fascistic and oppressive Bliarland, .... ... .. errr I mean Britain, in which we exist. I wouldn't call it living since to actually live requires freedom and personal privacy and we don't really have either of those anymore.

MorrisOx said...

I got distracted the other day.

I'd just heard over the car radio some lunatic proposal to increase revenue, sorry improve road safety, by fining drivers using hands-free phones.

I was so angry I nearly drove into a tree.

uk-events said...

Surely this is what a whole 22% of the electorate voted for in 2005?

Just goes to show that our democracy is a sham and that we've let the lunatics take over the asylum through the back door.

Anonymous said...

12:32pm Bob Piper "Are you telling me it's not already illegal to listen to Meat Loaf in the car? Well it bloody well ought to be"

We must congratulate our Friend Bob on expressing such a sensible point of view - a rare occasion of agreement between us


Anonymous said...

Actually, banning smoking when driving does make mroe sense than banning people talking. That is why some insurance companies ask if you smoke. It raises your premium as smokers are more at risk of having an accident.

I'm personally advocatin gbanning either of them before people start attacking me as a Lib Dem.

Anonymous said...

Maybe there ought to be some type of exception to this hands free law. Possibly we could get a licence from Gordon (at a huge cost of course), or even plant a couple of trees somewhere. Whatever the government decide, you can bet your life that it's got sod all to do with safety. The trouble is, as soon as the word saftey is mentioned, there's no defence for normally rational people, basically we just exsist these days, to be fleeced.

Most of these idiots who are setting the law have no need to ever get behind a wheel, their bloody chauffeurs do it for them.

I still, cannot believe, how so many people in this country were so gullible, as to be taken in by this moronic Government. People out htere still support them. Then again one only has to see Big Brother to understand why.

Sorry for this Iain, but these type of stories compel me to have a rant now and again.

Anonymous said...

Phillipa 1:34
This "Peter Hitchens" has never objected to loose knicker elastic in his life . Maybe once I get to know and like them ,and am in a relationship ,then I get drunk and throw their pasts in their faces and call them whores.

MorrisOx said...

Quite a few posters seem to think this is a direct by-product of Blair. I don't and here's why.

This kind of safety fascist approach existed before Blair came to power and is founded not necessarily in the laws themselves, but in the interpretation of road transport rules and regulations by civil servants in Whitehall and highway officers within county councils.

They have been quietly and religiously imposing their own agenda - an agenda often formed through discussion papers and conferences you and I have never heard of - on top of Parliament's own ludicrous nannyisms.

The results you see before you: the infestation of roads and pavements with overwhelming, control-oriented signage (which Iain blogged about the other day) and the transformation of our road system from a simple ( if over-crowded) route network into a baffling abomination.

It's easy to ridicule responses like mine as those of a Meldrew, but these unelected nannies have running riot on the quiet for years, driving an agenda informed by a belief that (to paraphrase Orwell) four wheels bad, two buses good. And anyone who does use four wheels really shouldn't be thinking for themselves now, should they?

It is the despatching of exactly these sorts of creeping administrative madnesses that Cameron MUST make part of his agenda.

Anonymous said...

Another misdemeanour, another incidence caught on CCTV.

Easy money/easy revenue for the gov's cameras.

Dangerous driving still exists though! TAKE NOTE!

Every time I venture out with ball of foot on the pedal I have a reality awakening.

It's now been long enough and with enough experience, that I know the problem: regardless of the legalities, no one is there to police it!

Cameras are easy time revenue generation; real bad driving is not!

I've avoided the swing of a vehicle into my lane on the last two outings. One was on his mobile; one was in a heated debate with his front seat passenger. Both needed more points than a 80mph loving speedo!

God, give me strength, I prefer the train!

What's the point of law of there's no one to police them?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't some woman prosecuted in the recent past for eating an apple whilst driving?

Wouldn't it be more useful if the police chased up drivers without insurance?

Wouldn't it be nice if the Govt cleared up the confusion about crossing red lights if there's an emergency vehicle behind you?

Wouldn't if be lovely if Blair went to jail?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
How would it be enforced ,would there be a big red light on your car when you transmit ,you lyin b@@@@@d copper I was just singin to myself

Ah, that's the aspect of it that nulab neglected to mention.

Now that well in excess of half a million people have signed the protest petition against vehicle tracking on Blair's website http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/traveltax/ the b@@@@@@s have decided to track us instead. But don't fret, apparently the op' to insert the chip behind our ears is relatively painless....

Anonymous said...

Why don't they go the whole hog? They could ban smoking while driving too while they are at it. (Iain)

They would not dare to antagonise the 14 million of us who smoke any more than they already have done with their refusal to allow smoking areas in pubs.

14 million smokers is one mighty big voting block. We can wipe out nulab at the next election if we choose to do so.

Auntie 'Flo

Anonymous said...

Iain, I think you an some of your readers have issues with the police.

I say that as the nature and tone of the majority of responses remind me of the slag-fest you all indulged in after the trama of the Met not attending 18 Doughty Street to take your statement about you smashed car windows.

That was an ordeal given Holborn police station is virtually across the street from Doughty Street.

Moan, moan, moan.

Anonymous said...

I'm new here.

It's slagfest-anon to me. I express my opinions, from the disenchanted liver that is mine.

I write as I see things and I've seen things this way for some time. Not had a sounding board before, and now ever so grateful to the big ID who plays host.

I don't agree with all he says but that's the purpose of political debate, isn't it?

Thanks Iain, for the forum here.

Anonymous said...

How about a bit of clever thinking that might actually create better more skillfull and therefore safer drivers?

Instead of banning hands free mobile phones they should be part of the driving test. So should driving with meatloaf full vol. All aspects of a drivers ability to concentrate under extra ordinary and extream conditions can and should be tested. Drivers should also be tested on the track to drive well at 100 miles per hour at least. All retested every 10 years.

We still have a driving test that does not even include motorway driving or night driving.

How about the death penalty for for driving over 25 MPH ? It would be an excellent deterent, they will never do it again, and my 99 year old grandmother can get back on the road. Blind as a bat and deaf as a post.

Perhaps I should not give the bastards any idears?

Anonymous said...

These have become very difficult times for a British working class right wing libertarian. Its sometimes hard not to lose the will to live. Maybe its better to just live somewhere else?

Im going to Cuba for 10 days next week just to reasure myself things have not got as bad as they often seem in the "United" Kingdom. But I am a little concerned that I might find I feel more free in the socialist republic of Cuba then here.

Here is hopeing the old bastard kicks it while I am there.

Anonymous said...

Women should be banned from applying make-up in cars - there is only one mirror in a car for such ctivities and it doesn't have steering wheel or ials anywhere near

Anonymous said...

There is plenty of good evidence that drivers are much more distracted by phone calls, hands-free or otherwise than by other types of distraction such as radio, passenger conversation, etc. The reason is that when driving normally, concentration can be applied to the road and the distraction at will. When on the phone, due to "politeness" and "normal phone culture" there is a need to remain focused on the caller and the act of switching attention back to the road done normally effortlessly by a driver is much more constrained.

Anonymous said...

It isnt' safety faschism. I've had terrible situations on the roads with other drivers talking on the phone. When behind someone who is on the phone now I literally get an extra adrenelin rush which my brain gives me to have to deal with the idiot. It really makes a huge difference to people's driving and to be honest this kind of "me and my stupid driving behaviour first" behaviour is what makes the roads so unbearable now. A professional driver. The Tories chasing after a few cheap votes on this won't make it better.

Anonymous said...

I was in London a few weeks ago. Twat on mobile in overpowered BMW. Hands free, yammering away. Slams in front of me, major cut-up. Horns, lights, shouting, no response. Still hooked on phone call. Then crosses pedestrian crossing in front of me with people on it. Shouting, raising of fists. Later on, I pull alongside champion git. "Did you notice the pedestrian crossing?" I politely enquire. Blank look. Moronic grin. Sorry, can't talk now, another call to make.

Anonymous said...

I remember when the Tories were the party of law and order. Now, as can be seen from the many bovver boy comments on here, they are the party of the yob. Cameron's "hug a hoodie" policy has had more results than even he could have dreamed!

Anonymous said...

Just how is this new law to be enforced without discriminating against millions of hearing aid users who drive, like me?

There is no means of distinguishing between most hearing aids and hands free phones.

Wuld all of us who are very deaf or hearing impaired be regularly pulled over by the police or issued with unjust fines by Blair's army of camera watchers?

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