ABD warns against ‘ban everything’ mentality

Banning as many activities as possible for motorists is not the way to stop bad driving and will result in punishments in "ridiculous" circumstances, according to the Association of British Drivers (ABD).

Instances of such extreme action include a woman being fined for drinking from a bottle at traffic lights and a police helicopter being used to issue a ticket to someone eating an apple.

The ABD emphasised its view that distracted driving is one of the biggest factors in road accidents and said it would support measures that tackle the problem effectively.

However, the association said that it is impossible to stop drivers from being distracted by imposing blanket bans.

"Almost everything one does in a car can be dangerously distracting if not done in a sensible manner," said Brian Gregory, chairman of the ABD.

"This includes mobile phone use, smoking, eating, talking to passengers, dealing with disruptive children, tuning the radio, operating sat-nav, checking the speedometer to avoid being caught by speed cameras and even opening the windows or sunroof or picking one’s nose!"

Mr Gregory said that a crackdown was needed on people who drive in an irresponsible or dangerous manner, rather than individual practices.

The laws are already in place to deal with people who drive dangerously or without due care, he added, yet prosecutions under these laws is at an all-time low. Mr Gregory attributed this to traffic officers being "replaced" by cameras and being encouraged to concentrate mainly on speed limit excesses.

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