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Nelson

Thank you, Matt Prior.

http://www.autocar.co.uk/opinion/...nt-take-away-all-interior-buttons

At last. Finally someone seeing sense and writing about it. I've been abject on this forum about my dislike for touchscreens and in real driving conditions just how distracting they can be and often for me where interior aesthetics and the cabin environment are high priority just how 'cold' and unwelcoming a lone touchscreen can make a cabin feel

As you may know I spend a lot of time driving all manner of cars, vans for customers delivered and collected from around the country. I may not be the most technical driver nor even after nearly 27 years the most advanced, but I am safe and smooth and do when conditions allow like the feeling of driving and getting my shoe down when I can when safe but one thing I have noticed is the decline of a tactile cabin, even something that should be simple like changing the heating temperature has turned into a multi-press on screen process and it means I invariably have to take my eyes off the road momentarily to perform such process.

I welcome technology, having the ability to link my mobile phone via Bluetooth to a screen and be able to take the occasional call hands free is a major advance, I do like in built sat-nav but that is a program once (at the beginning of a journey) thing and then best left alone, but to put simple tasks like heating or changing the radio preset onto a touchscreen is counter intuitive and dangerous in my opinion

But there is a middle ground. Having driven them I reserve a particular hatred for the Peugeot 308. In isolation as a car I think it looks really great and drives nicely but damn is that interior just horrible, I recall that only rarely used functions are left as buttons (heated rear screen, hazards, door locking), everything else is controlled via a touchscreen and the design is just awful too

Where is does work better, is in VWAG products. The new Audi A4 is one of the very best combinations of thoughtfulness, clear design and ergonomic clarity. Proper HVAC controls, a proper stereo volume dial, presets, evem the VW Golf, Passat is an ergonomic masterpiece.

As an example, they do say familiarity breeds contempt, that for me will apply to many modern day car interiors, but there are many fine examples of how it should be even on older cars. My Mondeo, for instance, is a good example. Yes, it's only a fleet favourite Daddy wagon, but I know that when I'm driving I can gently rest my hand on the gear lever and extend a finger and without having to take my eyes off the road can change from Capital FM on preset 3 to Radio2 on preset 2 easily and within milliseconds. I can also operate the heated rear screen button without distraction. It may not have a screen but everything is where it should be

The thought of owning a Tesla scares me, I don't want to be distracted by screens showing me graphs for this and data for this, half of it is meaningless. I don't want gesture control, like available of Mercs and BMW's.

So as far as my unprofessional opinion goes I whole hardheartedly agree with the author and lament the day interiors go button free
PhilD

What is wrong with the car in the picture?
Twelfth Monkey

I agree with the article, too.  It's like a good touch screen remote control.  There are hard buttons for the regularly-used functions (vol and channel +/-, menu, epg, mute, info, etc).

I think it's one of those things that wows people in the showrooms, but over-delegation to a touchscreen is sacrificing function to form.
Tim

I think touchscreens in cars are a dangerous un-necessity (?)
If you're driving along with the car bumping around a bit you HAVE TO take your eyes off the road to make sure you touch the 'button' whereas with a real button you can at least feel the edges of it.

It's all adding to the available distractions that shouldn't be there when conducting 1.5 tonnes of high speed metal.
Nice Guy Eddie

100% agree. Touchscreens are the devils work
PhilD

Tim wrote:
I think touchscreens in cars are a dangerous un-necessity (?)
If you're driving along with the car bumping around a bit you HAVE TO take your eyes off the road to make sure you touch the 'button' whereas with a real button you can at least feel the edges of it.



Which buttons do you need to touch while driving? stick those on the steering wheel and rest on touch screen.
Martin

I agree, really don't like touch screens.  A decent voice control system is the best answer
PhilD

Martin wrote:
I agree, really don't like touch screens.  A decent voice control system is the best answer


I can see voice control taking over soon(ish). In fact we will all have our own virtual assistant who we will tell to do everything (and who may tell us to do the odd thing as well...)
BeN

I am very much in agreement with you Nelson. I think some stuff, like air con/heating, still need to remain as buttons. But I also like a large, well-placed touch screen for the entertainment.

I think the Prius that I'm driving has done pretty well in that aspect. The vital control buttons are still within reach, and the screen operates only a handful of functions, like audio/radio and the Bluetooth. In fact they can also be controlled via buttons on the steering wheel which makes it so much better.
Michael

PhilD wrote:
What is wrong with the car in the picture?


If you're talking about the XC90 then generally the touch screen works very well but the heating settings are a nightmare as you do have to go into menus. The heated/cooled seat function takes some finding but worst of all is the climate control with is a touch slider. You do need to take your eyes off the road to use this.
BeN

Michael wrote:
PhilD wrote:
What is wrong with the car in the picture?


If you're talking about the XC90 then generally the touch screen works very well but the heating settings are a nightmare as you do have to go into menus. The heated/cooled seat function takes some finding but worst of all is the climate control with is a touch slider. You do need to take your eyes off the road to use this.


Yup.

The Citroen Picasso is also another offender of this.
PhilD

Michael wrote:
PhilD wrote:
What is wrong with the car in the picture?


If you're talking about the XC90 then generally the touch screen works very well but the heating settings are a nightmare as you do have to go into menus. The heated/cooled seat function takes some finding but worst of all is the climate control with is a touch slider. You do need to take your eyes off the road to use this.


Oh! So are the buttons under it for the stereo? and what's on the steering wheel? Volvo used to be excel at this stuff.
Michael

Volvo didn't do a great job of the ergonomics in my car. From memory the controls below are the stereo and they're also replicated on the steering wheel along with the cruise control.
PhilD

PhilD wrote:


Oh! So are the buttons under it for the stereo? and what's on the steering wheel? Volvo used to tell us how they excel at this stuff.



FMP
BeN

PhilD wrote:
Michael wrote:
PhilD wrote:
What is wrong with the car in the picture?


If you're talking about the XC90 then generally the touch screen works very well but the heating settings are a nightmare as you do have to go into menus. The heated/cooled seat function takes some finding but worst of all is the climate control with is a touch slider. You do need to take your eyes off the road to use this.


Oh! So are the buttons under it for the stereo? and what's on the steering wheel? Volvo used to be excel at this stuff.


Some of it. The other buttons are for the hazard lights and heated screens.

Martin

The voice control system in mine is pretty good, especially for calls, but I don't need to use it much as nearly all new sat nav destinations are sent from my phone, it's got shortcut buttons, pressing the phone button in the wheel bring up a screen in the instrument panel with loads of recent numbers etc.  Adjusting the climate control, putting the heated seats on etc are all easily done without living your hand much from the wheel.

The Boxster has a touch screen, which I really don't like, but thankfully you can use the buttons/knobs so do most things and it has the (optional) multi-function steering wheel.
Tim

The Nissan has 3 sets of stereo controls within about 1 foot - steering wheel mounted, dashboard and touch screen.

On the subject of steering controls why have BMW moved the stereo ones from the left hand spoke to the right hand one?
Nelson

Tim wrote:
The Nissan has 3 sets of stereo controls within about 1 foot - steering wheel mounted, dashboard and touch screen.

On the subject of steering controls why have BMW moved the stereo ones from the left hand spoke to the right hand one?


I can only see that a good move especially in RHD models.

Most drivers if they get the occasion to drive with one hand will choose to hold the steering wheel with their right hand and leave their left one on the centre armrest or atop the gearlever (appreciate most BMW's are autos), so it's makes sense that the most used buttons on the wheel, the stereo ones are there for quick easy access without having to bring your left arm up to use them on the left side of the steering wheel.
Giant

I think my Astra has got the balance between useful buttons and minimalism just about spot on:

Nelson

Giant wrote:
I think my Astra has got the balance between useful buttons and minimalism just about spot on:



you missing some lower console trim there Giant?
Giant

Nope! Where do you mean?
Below the heater controls is the phone holster, with my phone in it. It holds the phone vertically so no issue of it sliding about, quite a neat solution I think.
Nelson

Giant wrote:
Nope! Where do you mean?
Below the heater controls is the phone holster, with my phone in it. It holds the phone vertically so no issue of it sliding about, quite a neat solution I think.


Oh yeah, so it is, my apologies

It looked on first glance like a missing piece of trim with the connectors and plugs showing at the back of the hole, but can now see the phone and the reflections in it.

I think you mean horizontally though  
Martin

Isn't it a touchscreen in the Astor? It does look simple, but how do you know what the temperature is set to and what setting the heated seats are on?  
Giant

Nelson wrote:
Giant wrote:
Nope! Where do you mean?
Below the heater controls is the phone holster, with my phone in it. It holds the phone vertically so no issue of it sliding about, quite a neat solution I think.


Oh yeah, so it is, my apologies

It looked on first glance like a missing piece of trim with the connectors and plugs showing at the back of the hole, but can now see the phone and the reflections in it.

I think you mean horizontally though  


On a vertical plane but horizontally on its side!  
Giant

Martin wrote:
Isn't it a touchscreen in the Astor? It does look simple, but how do you know what the temperature is set to and what setting the heated seats are on?  


It is a touchscreen,great for nav controls, Apple CarPlay and sub menu stuff, all essentials done with buttons.

The screen shows changes when you turn the dials/press the buttons for the heater controls. Like the RR Velar, the mighty Astra shuns cold/hot and sticky leather for for 'premium fabric', making heated seats an unnecessary frippery!  
Martin

Yes, it was a similar arrangement in the Holden, even though the climate control had a display.  A bit pointless.  I like the Audi TT solution for Climate Control.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Michael wrote:
..... but the heating settings are a nightmare as you do have to go into menus. The heated/cooled seat function takes some finding but worst of all is the climate control with is a touch slider. You do need to take your eyes off the road to use this.


With a decent climate control system you shouldn't need to alter the settings at all (except to demist the windscreen).  My old MY2000 Galaxy had climate, and the C-Max and Fiesta have it.  Once it's set to temperature, I press the "auto" button and it's left alone with the only exceptions being to demist/defrost the windscreen (or to turn it off which garages generally do when they have the cars for servicing, then I have to turn ot back on again)
PG

In my view, the XF has a good balance of buttons (steering wheel and dash mounted) and touch screen.

I think like all things it is about design and implementation.  A huge touch screen might work if the controls are intuitive and the "buttons" big enough. On the other hand a million tiny buttons can be awful.

I can see that slider temperature controls would be a right bugger though!
Resident Spanner

Tactile touchscreens are in production which give feedback and let you feel a 'bump' for the button/slider, so this may be a bit of a moot point shortly
gooner

The real turning point for me in choosing between a 308 and the Golf was looking at the functions of the touchscreen and the lack of buttons. I just think it's dangerous to put so much reliance on the driver being able to keep the car under control with their eyes off the road. Surely the recent change in the laws surrounding using a mobile phone whilst driving and the cases of multiple road deaths that led to calls for them, make it quite clear that this is not the way to go.

Even though it has manual Hvac controls, the Golf still has some functions that have moved to the screen that annoy me. Example being the screen dimmer which is no longer controlled by a small wheel next to the headlight switch (unless you live in a country where VW offer lower end infortainment systems that don't have touchscreen so ironically they have had to add the switch back in). Equally to change radio station there's a toggle switch on the steering wheel, however this doesn't flick between presets as you'd think it logically should, but instead flicks to and from the next station on the scale of all radio stations. Why would I want it to do that?!
Tim

Resident Spanner wrote:
Tactile touchscreens are in production which give feedback and let you feel a 'bump' for the button/slider, so this may be a bit of a moot point shortly


But you get vibrations, etc when you're driving the car anyway (and they're getting worse/more frequent as car suspension gets stiffer and roads get worse) so you'll still have to take your eyes off the road to make sure your command has been carried out.

Plus how much do they cost to replace/fix at 10 years old when your car will fail its MOT because something trivial, but only accessed via the touchscreen, has stopped working?
Michael

Resident Spanner wrote:
Tactile touchscreens are in production which give feedback and let you feel a 'bump' for the button/slider, so this may be a bit of a moot point shortly


Those I've seen can only generate bumps in predetermined locations, such as for keypads and they're not tried for longevity yet. I'm not sure I've seen a slider work?
The issue with touchscreens isn't so much that the don't give feedback but you need to look at the screen to know what you're pressing. A lot of us don't even realise we do it but we reach down, fumble around for a know (oh-er missus) and alter the control without taking our eyes off the road. With a touchscreen you loose the tactile markers that allow you to do this.
PhilD

Michael wrote:

The issue with touchscreens isn't so much that the don't give feedback but you need to look at the screen to know what you're pressing. A lot of us don't even realise we do it but we reach down, fumble around for a know (oh-er missus) and alter the control without taking our eyes off the road. With a touchscreen you lose the tactile markers that allow you to do this.


Pre touch screen I used to be able to text really well whilst driving without having to take my eyes off the road.
JohnC

Obviously others feel the same way!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39198898
Scouse

"The authority has also told Jaguar Land Rover that its future advertising must not encourage drivers to perform tasks that might distract their attention from the road."

That's all fine, but where do you draw the line as to what may distract you from the road?
Tim

Wasn't the new Astra marketed as being a mobile we-fi hotspot or something?
Surely that's in breach along with all the on-board TVs (it doesn't matter if they're restricted while driving, there'll be a hack to overcome it)?
PhilD

Scouse wrote:
"The authority has also told Jaguar Land Rover that its future advertising must not encourage drivers to perform tasks that might distract their attention from the road."

That's all fine, but where do you draw the line as to what may distract you from the road?


You'd ban kids from the car for a start!
gooner

I'm not a fan either (don't laugh at the photo):

https://www.assurityconsulting.co...ing-at-work-policies#.WMBtkJHfWf0

Be interested to know your opinion. I was asked to write it last week at 4:55 on the day the new laws came in so it was rather thrown together but I think I've made some good points.
Chris M Wanted a V-10

gooner wrote:
Be interested to know your opinion. I was asked to write it last week at 4:55 on the day the new laws came in so it was rather thrown together but I think I've made some good points.


It's very interesting; I have worked in some places where driving was considered to be something that needed full concentration, you were not expected to use a mobile phone at all when moving, and if you felt too tired to carry on, stop in a hotel and the company will never argue about the cost as safety was paramount.

Business is business, driving is driving.

Other places have had far less sympathetic policy/guidelines and stretch staff to the limits despite legislation suggesting that they are, if not exactly in the wrong, not doing what is morally correct or what the law was aiming for
Giant

gooner wrote:
I'm not a fan either (don't laugh at the photo):

https://www.assurityconsulting.co...ing-at-work-policies#.WMBtkJHfWf0

Be interested to know your opinion. I was asked to write it last week at 4:55 on the day the new laws came in so it was rather thrown together but I think I've made some good points.


I agree with your article. I've stopped taking work calls while driving a few months ago, despite my car having CarPlay hands free etc, precisely because I'd need to recollect something or discuss something in detail, which I felt definitely meant I wasn't giving full attention to driving (nor the caller). Now I let people leave messages and I call back when at my next site.
PhilD

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:


Business is business, driving is driving.



What about taxi drivers?
Twelfth Monkey

gooner wrote:
I'm not a fan either (don't laugh at the photo):




Something of the contented funeral director there, eh?  I'm guessing that the tie isn't actually black...



(My apologies - anything of me is significantly less flattering, I freely admit.)
Martin

I think you look very smart....hardly recognised you!
Bob Sacamano

I don't have a problem with hands free phone calls, both making and receiving them. If you want to go down the distraction route are we going to ban listening to the radio, travelling with argumentative kids/spouses, mother-in-laws in the back seat, women in short skirts walking next to the road, billboard advertising, etc. etc. The whole thing is nonsense - treat people like adults and expect them to behave like them. More nanny-state legislation isn't needed.
When you get a driver's license there are certain responsibilities you take on and knowing when and where it is safe to make and take a phone call should be one of them.
Similarly knowing when to take a break when driving is another - I've sat in meetings where a client's representative has said that they can't drive to a meeting because it's more than 3 hours away and company policy states they can't do a journey of more than that in a day without an overnight stay. Fucking man up.
Twelfth Monkey

I understand what you are saying, I really do - but experience tends to suggest that people collectively do not step up to the plate when you simply expect them to behave responsibly.
Bob Sacamano

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
I understand what you are saying, I really do - but experience tends to suggest that people collectively do not step up to the plate when you simply expect them to behave responsibly.


OK, so we ban alcohol, cigarettes, fatty & sugary foods, limit the drugs and painkillers we are allowed to have in the home, fit 50mph limiters to all vehicles and link them to a GPS system that prevents them speeding in urban areas, limit all vehicles to 100hp and restrict acceleration, fence off all potentially dangerous locations, ban all extreme sports, ban leisure sailing and swimming at areas without lifeguards, turn off the TV and internet network at 10pm...You see where I'm going with this?
gooner

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
I understand what you are saying, I really do - but experience tends to suggest that people collectively do not step up to the plate when you simply expect them to behave responsibly.


OK, so we ban alcohol, cigarettes, fatty & sugary foods, limit the drugs and painkillers we are allowed to have in the home, fit 50mph limiters to all vehicles and link them to a GPS system that prevents them speeding in urban areas, limit all vehicles to 100hp and restrict acceleration, fence off all potentially dangerous locations, ban all extreme sports, ban leisure sailing and swimming at areas without lifeguards, turn off the TV and internet network at 10pm...You see where I'm going with this?


Yes I do. Over the top!

The argument that business calls shouldn't be outlawed because it's no different to speaking to a passenger or listen to the radio is utterly flawed. A passenger is often concentrating on the road as much as you are and the conversation is informal enough for natural breaks in conversation when dealing with junctions etc. Contrast that with the sort of business call a typical sales rep has to deal with. The person on the other end is expecting to be told product details, prices, delivery times and meeting dates etc. They are also blissfully unaware that you may be encountering hazards on the road. Is for this reason that I think it's wrong of companies to expect their mobile workforce to be taking these calls whilst driving.
Bob Sacamano

gooner wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
I understand what you are saying, I really do - but experience tends to suggest that people collectively do not step up to the plate when you simply expect them to behave responsibly.


OK, so we ban alcohol, cigarettes, fatty & sugary foods, limit the drugs and painkillers we are allowed to have in the home, fit 50mph limiters to all vehicles and link them to a GPS system that prevents them speeding in urban areas, limit all vehicles to 100hp and restrict acceleration, fence off all potentially dangerous locations, ban all extreme sports, ban leisure sailing and swimming at areas without lifeguards, turn off the TV and internet network at 10pm...You see where I'm going with this?


Yes I do. Over the top!

The argument that business calls shouldn't be outlawed because it's no different to speaking to a passenger or listen to the radio is utterly flawed. A passenger is often concentrating on the road as much as you are and the conversation is informal enough for natural breaks in conversation when dealing with junctions etc. Contrast that with the sort of business call a typical sales rep has to deal with. The person on the other end is expecting to be told product details, prices, delivery times and meeting dates etc. They are also blissfully unaware that you may be encountering hazards on the road. Is for this reason that I think it's wrong of companies to expect their mobile workforce to be taking these calls whilst driving.


I disagree completely. Show me the evidence it is utterly flawed.

I also disagree that passengers are concentrating on the road as much as the driver - it's never been my experience. Again, show me the evidence. I remember driving with my boss when he asked me a particularly difficult question and while I was thinking about it I went through a speed camera at 56mph and got a ticket.

Re: sales calls on the move; again you're assuming the guy driving is an idiot and doesn't have a brain and can't actually tell the person ringing that he's on the move and if he wants more detailed info he'll have to wait.

How many times do you see parents driving along with two rear view mirrors - the second one to watch the kids in the back? Far more distracting than a mobile phone call. Ban it.

The answer is always ban, never educate.
gooner

Bob Sacamano wrote:
gooner wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
I understand what you are saying, I really do - but experience tends to suggest that people collectively do not step up to the plate when you simply expect them to behave responsibly.


OK, so we ban alcohol, cigarettes, fatty & sugary foods, limit the drugs and painkillers we are allowed to have in the home, fit 50mph limiters to all vehicles and link them to a GPS system that prevents them speeding in urban areas, limit all vehicles to 100hp and restrict acceleration, fence off all potentially dangerous locations, ban all extreme sports, ban leisure sailing and swimming at areas without lifeguards, turn off the TV and internet network at 10pm...You see where I'm going with this?


Yes I do. Over the top!

The argument that business calls shouldn't be outlawed because it's no different to speaking to a passenger or listen to the radio is utterly flawed. A passenger is often concentrating on the road as much as you are and the conversation is informal enough for natural breaks in conversation when dealing with junctions etc. Contrast that with the sort of business call a typical sales rep has to deal with. The person on the other end is expecting to be told product details, prices, delivery times and meeting dates etc. They are also blissfully unaware that you may be encountering hazards on the road. Is for this reason that I think it's wrong of companies to expect their mobile workforce to be taking these calls whilst driving.


I disagree completely. Show me the evidence it is utterly flawed.

I also disagree that passengers are concentrating on the road as much as the driver - it's never been my experience. Again, show me the evidence. I remember driving with my boss when he asked me a particularly difficult question and while I was thinking about it I went through a speed camera at 56mph and got a ticket.

Re: sales calls on the move; again you're assuming the guy driving is an idiot and doesn't have a brain and can't actually tell the person ringing that he's on the move and if he wants more detailed info he'll have to wait.

How many times do you see parents driving along with two rear view mirrors - the second one to watch the kids in the back? Far more distracting than a mobile phone call. Ban it.

The answer is always ban, never educate.


The BBC report evidence from The University of Sussex that hands free calls are equally distracting. If you went through a speed camera and got a ticket whilst trying to recite some technical info then doesn't that prove my point. I stated that a passenger will often be aware of a hazard and shut up whilst you deal with it, it's never a garauntee of course, but much more likely than the person at the end of the phone.
Martin

I confess to using the phone in the car, but I don't go onto conference calls when I'm driving as that would require too much of my concentration.   Also, I don't drive much during the day, so getting it making calls when I'm in the car are much less frequent than they used to be.

As an example, I had a 30min chat with my old boss on the way home last night (he called me) and I really don't think that was any different to if he was sitting next to me.  I drive more slowly when I'm on the phone, leave bigger gaps etc.  More steadily than I realised, as my journey mpg last night was over 50 when I parked up.

Lindsay's employer has a no using the phone in the car rule, as did HRG who let you order a handsfree kit for the car, but on the proviso that it was only used to charge the phone.....yeah, right.
Bob Sacamano

gooner wrote:


The BBC report evidence from The University of Sussex that hands free calls are equally distracting. If you went through a speed camera and got a ticket whilst trying to recite some technical info then doesn't that prove my point. I stated that a passenger will often be aware of a hazard and shut up whilst you deal with it, it's never a garauntee of course, but much more likely than the person at the end of the phone.


No it proves my point. I'm not saying that taking a phone call at the wheel isn't distracting, just that other situations at the wheel are equally distracting and if you're going to address one you need to address the other.
You can't eliminate risk, companies in the most risk averse industry, the Oil industry, are beginning to realise that  - it's about accepting there will always be risks and managing them, otherwise you'd get nothing done.
gooner

Bob Sacamano wrote:
gooner wrote:


The BBC report evidence from The University of Sussex that hands free calls are equally distracting. If you went through a speed camera and got a ticket whilst trying to recite some technical info then doesn't that prove my point. I stated that a passenger will often be aware of a hazard and shut up whilst you deal with it, it's never a garauntee of course, but much more likely than the person at the end of the phone.


No it proves my point. I'm not saying that taking a phone call at the wheel isn't distracting, just that other situations at the wheel are equally distracting and if you're going to address one you need to address the other.
You can't eliminate risk, companies in the most risk averse industry, the Oil industry, are beginning to realise that  - it's about accepting there will always be risks and managing them, otherwise you'd get nothing done.


The point I was making in my blog post was in relation to companies that expect their staff to make and accept business calls whilst driving and don't manage the time of their staff to allow for calls to be separate from driving. I've worked with a number of organisations that have such practices and yet their health and safety policy statement clearly states that they will minimise the risk to non employees (i.e. Members of the public, contractors etc) of their business activities. Expecting staff who drive for business purposes to be subjected to unnecessary distractions which can be punishable offences under road traffic law doesn't sit well with the statement of their policy.
Twelfth Monkey

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
I understand what you are saying, I really do - but experience tends to suggest that people collectively do not step up to the plate when you simply expect them to behave responsibly.


OK, so we ban alcohol, cigarettes, fatty & sugary foods, limit the drugs and painkillers we are allowed to have in the home, fit 50mph limiters to all vehicles and link them to a GPS system that prevents them speeding in urban areas, limit all vehicles to 100hp and restrict acceleration, fence off all potentially dangerous locations, ban all extreme sports, ban leisure sailing and swimming at areas without lifeguards, turn off the TV and internet network at 10pm...You see where I'm going with this?


I think you're missing what for me is one of the most important points.  It doesn't apply to all in your list, but with most of them, the victim is yourself.  I do favour taxation to steer people towards healthier lifestyles, such as taxes on high sugar items, and accept that on the odd occasion I'll pay such taxes myself.  But phone use whilst driving can have life-changing effects upon others, and their rights need protecting more forcefully in some instances.  If people don't man up for their own sake, that's their look out.  But where the consequences can be so serious for others, I don't favour so much latitude, personally.

We watched Crimewatch this week, which was about driving offences and actually wasn't too preachy.  The in car footage of the lorry driver who wiped out most of a family because he was using his phone to control music is not something I'll forget in a hurry.

I don't know whether anyone else saw it - the road rage pieces where drivers ran over pedestrians who'd pissed them off was fucking scary...
Bob Sacamano

Twelfth Monkey wrote:


But phone use whilst driving can have life-changing effects upon others, and their rights need protecting more forcefully in some instances.  If people don't man up for their own sake, that's their look out.  But where the consequences can be so serious for others, I don't favour so much latitude, personally.
.


So can driving high powered cars capable of 2 and three times the maximum speed permitted on British roads. Are you happy to be restricted to something with no more power than a Prius? Are the Porsche driving members of the forum happy to give up their totally unnecessary vehicles for something where they'd be incapable of inflicting horrific injuries to others if they decided to use a fraction of the potential performance and lost it?

Also, you say that alcohol, drug and over-indulgence only affect oneself and not others, I'd contend that is not the case as the treatment of the diseases these actions cause impact on the NHS and the ability of it to provide healthcare to the rest of us.

If you're saying that people are not capable of knowing when and where it is safe to make a hands free phone call then I don't see how you can argue that they are capable of knowing when and where to put their foot down in a 400bhp car.

I don't think it's unreasonable as an employer that if I expect them to drive as part of their job, and to do so safely, that I can also expect them to answer hands free phone calls, and do so safely. The end result of these ridiculous policies is that you end up with policies, that I have seen, that ask you not to walk and use your mobile phone. It's getting a bit risky for people to get out of bed these days.
Twelfth Monkey

A decade driving a car with 400+ bhp without accident suggests that I can quite convincingly argue that I know how and when to deploy it safely.  I'm giving matters my full concentration (and am happy to pay the full penalty of the law if I transgress) - mobile-using drivers are by definition not.

Let's agree to disagree about the rest.
gooner

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:


But phone use whilst driving can have life-changing effects upon others, and their rights need protecting more forcefully in some instances.  If people don't man up for their own sake, that's their look out.  But where the consequences can be so serious for others, I don't favour so much latitude, personally.
.


So can driving high powered cars capable of 2 and three times the maximum speed permitted on British roads. Are you happy to be restricted to something with no more power than a Prius? Are the Porsche driving members of the forum happy to give up their totally unnecessary vehicles for something where they'd be incapable of inflicting horrific injuries to others if they decided to use a fraction of the potential performance and lost it?

If you're saying that people are not capable of knowing when and where it is safe to make a hands free phone call then I don't see how you can argue that they are capable of knowing when and where to put their foot down in a 400bhp car.

I don't think it's unreasonable as an employer that if I expect them to drive as part of their job, and to do so safely, that I can also expect them to answer hands free phone calls, and do so safely. The end result of these ridiculous policies is that you end up with policies, that I have seen, that ask you not to walk and use your mobile phone. It's getting a bit risky for people to get out of bed these days.


You are aware, of course, that a Prius is capable of exceeding the maximum permitted motorway speed by 42mph?

We will have to agree to disagree because I don't think it's acceptable to expect drivers to take calls whilst driving as it can compromise safety, no matter how good a driver they are or how relaxed the conversation is, and if it was to result in a serious accident I don't see how your argument is a suitable defence. If a driver making a business call misses a red light and kills a pedestrian is it really acceptable to say they were using a hands free kit? And if it was you they hit would you be happy that their employer didn't allow them enough time to travel between appointments AND stop to make their calls? Of course not.

Martin is probably considered a very competent driver and ever he admitted to having to slow down and leave bigger gaps in order to have an informal phone conversation, so extrapolate that out to a stressed paper clip sales rep tailgating in the outside line whilst trying to remember the bulk discount he can offer on treasury tags or the cost of upgrading to bulldog clips and you now have a driver who's a much bigger danger to other road users than if he was sat in a service station getting the correct figures on his laptop.
Martin

It all comes back to personal responsibility.  There are loads of reasons you could have an accident as a result of a choice you've made behind the wheel, it could be driving too fast for the road/conditions, using a phone, overtaking in an inappropriate place or even just arguing with the kids.
Bob Sacamano

Martin wrote:
It all comes back to personal responsibility.  There are loads of reasons you could have an accident as a result of a choice you've made behind the wheel, it could be driving too fast for the road/conditions, using a phone, overtaking in an inappropriate place or even just arguing with the kids.


You forget, no-one takes personal responsibility anymore.
Bob Sacamano

gooner wrote:


Martin is probably considered a very competent driver and ever he admitted to having to slow down and leave bigger gaps in order to have an informal phone conversation, so extrapolate that out to a stressed paper clip sales rep tailgating in the outside line whilst trying to remember the bulk discount he can offer on treasury tags or the cost of upgrading to bulldog clips and you now have a driver who's a much bigger danger to other road users than if he was sat in a service station getting the correct figures on his laptop.


You could equally extrapolate that the paper clip salesman who has safely taken the call and given the information is now driving far more safely than the one who couldn't take the call and is now driving frantically to get to the next service station, panicking incase he's lost the order. You can twist any argument to suit the agenda.

I regularly pass vans with stickers on the back saying they are restricted to 60mph. I'm assuming you'd want that applied to company cars and personal cars used on company business?
gooner

Bob Sacamano wrote:
gooner wrote:


Martin is probably considered a very competent driver and ever he admitted to having to slow down and leave bigger gaps in order to have an informal phone conversation, so extrapolate that out to a stressed paper clip sales rep tailgating in the outside line whilst trying to remember the bulk discount he can offer on treasury tags or the cost of upgrading to bulldog clips and you now have a driver who's a much bigger danger to other road users than if he was sat in a service station getting the correct figures on his laptop.


You could equally extrapolate that the paper clip salesman who has safely taken the call and given the information is now driving far more safely than the one who couldn't take the call and is now driving frantically to get to the next service station, panicking incase he's lost the order. You can twist any argument to suit the agenda.

I regularly pass vans with stickers on the back saying they are restricted to 60mph. I'm assuming you'd want that applied to company cars and personal cars used on company business?


I don't want that it was your suggestion!
Bob Sacamano

gooner wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:


I regularly pass vans with stickers on the back saying they are restricted to 60mph. I'm assuming you'd want that applied to company cars and personal cars used on company business?


I don't want that it was your suggestion!


But is where your argument is logically taking us!
gooner

Bob Sacamano wrote:
gooner wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:


I regularly pass vans with stickers on the back saying they are restricted to 60mph. I'm assuming you'd want that applied to company cars and personal cars used on company business?


I don't want that it was your suggestion!


But is where your argument is logically taking us!


Sadly I think we'll be there anyway in ten years time. Most larger companies have started putting 70mph limiters on their vans so it's only a matter of time. Others are using telematics to track the standard of driving of their staff. Insurance companies use such devices to reduce risk enough to get a sensible premium for new drivers, how long before the same tool is used to win business fleet insurance customers?
Martin

HRG we're starting to look at that 2 years ago but didn't take it forward.  I was moving out of the scheme anyway so wasn't that worried, otherwise I would have done if they'd brought it in.
BeN

Bob, I broadly agree with you, but the sad thing is that the vast majority of people see driving as just another chore instead of something that requires quite a fair bit of your attention.

I've been driving for 11 years now and other than that one time very early on when I just passed and then proceeded to side-swipe a Suzuki Swift, I've never so much as had an accident. I do take the occasional phone call in the car (hands-free of course) but I also accept that driving is something that needs plenty of concentration. If I feel that at any given moment I am unable to multi-task I put my focus on the main job at hand, which is driving.

I think what is lacking is education and also awareness. People need to know what they are capable of, what their limits are, and not overstretch their abilities.

If you can drive and talk at the same time with no problems, then great for you. But not everyone can.
TreVoR

I think people are perfectly aware of what they are allowed to do or not.  Sadly, I think the issue is people will do whatever they want and everyone else can go fuck themselves.  You can make all the laws in the world and people will still use their phones.
Roadsterstu

Twelfth Monkey wrote:
I understand what you are saying, I really do - but experience tends to suggest that people collectively do not step up to the plate when you simply expect them to behave responsibly.


This, by the truckload.  The "public" quite rightly expect high standards of driving from police, bus drivers, taxi drivers, delivery drivers, etc. yet the "public" also wants an awful lot of legal leeway when it comes to their own standards behind the wheel.  The simple fact is that people cannot be trusted. I know you say, "where do you draw the line?" but that applies to everything that we have legislation for - firearms laws, for example.

Alex - a question for you. Shouldn't employers be considering the far wider consequences of their employees being involved in a collision whilst driving on business than using a mobile phone? The risk of Corporate Manslaughter action being taken against company officials, perhaps?
Bob Sacamano

Roadsterstu wrote:
.  The simple fact is that people cannot be trusted.


Some of us? Most of us? All of us? Only us?
gooner

Roadsterstu wrote:
Twelfth Monkey wrote:
I understand what you are saying, I really do - but experience tends to suggest that people collectively do not step up to the plate when you simply expect them to behave responsibly.


This, by the truckload.  The "public" quite rightly expect high standards of driving from police, bus drivers, taxi drivers, delivery drivers, etc. yet the "public" also wants an awful lot of legal leeway when it comes to their own standards behind the wheel.  The simple fact is that people cannot be trusted. I know you say, "where do you draw the line?" but that applies to everything that we have legislation for - firearms laws, for example.

Alex - a question for you. Shouldn't employers be considering the far wider consequences of their employees being involved in a collision whilst driving on business than using a mobile phone? The risk of Corporate Manslaughter action being taken against company officials, perhaps?


Fortunately we've yet to see an example of this relating to phones but indeed employers can be made responsible in court if their employees are driving in an unsafe manner at the behest of their employer. The recent case involving the tipper truck that killed a young girl and three adults in Bath is a case in point. The brakes had not been maintained and the young lad behind the wheel was using a route not recommended for HGV's but was considerably shorter than the route a responsible driver would have taken. The driver wasn't punished but his employer was.

In theory the same could happen if a driver of a company vehicle caused an accident whilst taking a business call. Facing multiple death by dangerous driving charges they might seek to defend themselves by pointing the finger at management for not giving them the time to pull over and make their calls or putting too much pressure on them to travel between appointments as well as being responsible for handling customer enquiries. Whether that would ultimately lead to a prosecution against the company I don't know.

But businesses shouldn't just be thinking about the corporate manslaughter side of it. They have a moral obligation to protect the public from the activities of their business and personally I don't think that expecting staff to use a phone whilst driving sits well enough with that basic duty.
Roadsterstu

Bob Sacamano wrote:
Roadsterstu wrote:
.  The simple fact is that people cannot be trusted.


Some of us? Most of us? All of us? Only us?


Not really possible to quantify beyond a general "some people" is it? Not you, though, Bob.
Roadsterstu

The press seem to have made a thing of this "new law". It is not a new law and it has been in place since 2003 ish. Only the penalty has changed. There is an enormous amount of wittering on Arsebook about it, too.
Giant

Roadsterstu wrote:
The press seem to have made a thing of this "new law". It is not a new law and it has been in place since 2003 ish. Only the penalty has changed. There is an enormous amount of wittering on Arsebook about it, too.


My suspicion is that people are making a big thing about the increase in penalty is because they are generally guilty of using their phones whilst at traffic lights etc and the previous penalty / fear of receiving the penalty was small enough for them to take the chance and carry on doing so. This increased penalty has made them fear the consequences and therefore will have to change their behaviour, ergo job done.
Roadsterstu

I doubt it will do that much to change behaviour.
Tim

Giant wrote:
My suspicion is that people are making a big thing about the increase in penalty is because they are generally guilty of using their phones whilst at traffic lights etc....


All you have to do to see if anything has changed is look around you next time you're waiting at lights.
Certainly a couple of months ago you could almost guarantee that 50% of other drivers were engrossed in something in the area of their right knee, you just know they were checking their phone.

Now it's getting lighter in the evenings it'll be easy to if that has changed at all.
Blarno

People are shit and do stupid things. Welcome to earth.
Roadsterstu

Blarno wrote:
People are shit and do stupid things. Welcome to earth.


That is essentially it.
Bob Sacamano

Roadsterstu wrote:
Bob Sacamano wrote:
Roadsterstu wrote:
.  The simple fact is that people cannot be trusted.


Some of us? Most of us? All of us? Only us?


Not really possible to quantify beyond a general "some people" is it? Not you, though, Bob.



It just seemed a sweeping generalisation which I know you don't like.
Roadsterstu

Ouch. Yes, it was a sweeping generalisation, I accept that. I guess lawmakers have to generalise sweepingly to a certain degree of sweepingness.
PhilD

Roadsterstu wrote:
. I know you say, "where do you draw the line?" but that applies to everything that we have legislation for - firearms laws, for example.


Indeed. Some times you draw one, some times many. And the lines can move over time

For example going back to Bob's post;

"so we ban alcohol - yes, for under 18s, when driving and operating heavy equipment, at work, etc etc"

Cigarettes - yes for under 16s, in public...

Fatty & sugary foods - already being taxed

limit the drugs and painkillers we are allowed to have in the home - limits to amount an strength of over the counter painkillers.

fit 50mph limiters to all vehicles - Limits for lorries, caravans etc

Fence off all potentially dangerous locations - Building sites, firing ranges..

Ban all extreme sports - BASE jumping banned in cities. Pretty sure train surfing is illegal.
Nice Guy Eddie

The issues people have with this law is that its not monitored correctly. Why is ok to do a multitude of operations via the touchscreen in my car whilst doing 80mph but it becomes 6 points whilst your stationery at traffic lights and you pick up your phone to move a song forward by clicking one button. Why is it ok to smoke a cigarette when on the move and not press a button on your phone that's attached to the dash. Surely each action is equally dangerous or safe depending on your viewpoint.
Martin

Thankfully my car can display texts and emails on the screen, so I don't need to pick up my phone....I am joking!  Although when I get a text or an email, all I have to do is click on the voice control, say read new message and it's read out to me. Or read it on my watch and use voice control on that to reply....which I honestly don't do when driving.  It's got apps for social media as well, but I don't know how they work.

I plug my phone in under the armrest so it's out of the way, music can be controlled from the MF wheel and/or Sat Nav.

Just agreeing with the above point really, there are loads of ways around the law if you think missing a message, that are equally dangerous, but more difficult to police.
PhilD

Martin wrote:
Although when I get a text or an email, all I have to do is click on the voice control, say read new message and it's read out to me.


In what voice?
Martin

I use my normal voice

It's the Sat Nav lady.
Tim

PhilD wrote:
Roadsterstu wrote:
. I know you say, "where do you draw the line?" but that applies to everything that we have legislation for - firearms laws, for example.


Indeed. Some times you draw one, some times many. And the lines can move over time

For example going back to Bob's post;

"so we ban alcohol - yes, for under 18s, when driving and operating heavy equipment, at work, etc etc"

Cigarettes - yes for under 16s, in public...

Fatty & sugary foods - already being taxed

limit the drugs and painkillers we are allowed to have in the home - limits to amount an strength of over the counter painkillers.

fit 50mph limiters to all vehicles - Limits for lorries, caravans etc

Fence off all potentially dangerous locations - Building sites, firing ranges..

Ban all extreme sports - BASE jumping banned in cities. Pretty sure train surfing is illegal.


I think there was something called the 'Reasonable Test' when I had to do a bit of law as part of my accountancy studies - "What would a reasonable person be reasonably expected to do?"

I think it's safe to say that looking down into your car for a prolonged period, to select a phone number or type a text, could be considered unreasonable?
PhilD

Martin wrote:
I use my normal voice

It's the Sat Nav lady.


what is she like?
Chris M Wanted a V-10

Tim wrote:
I think it's safe to say that looking down into your car for a prolonged period, to select a phone number or type a text, could be considered unreasonable?

Not when you are stuck in a traffic jam or at a traffic light that's just turned red
Tim

Chris M Wanted a V-10 wrote:
Tim wrote:
I think it's safe to say that looking down into your car for a prolonged period, to select a phone number or type a text, could be considered unreasonable?

Not when you are stuck in a traffic jam or at a traffic light that's just turned red


Fair enough but most of the time they then fail to spot the light turning green!
BeN

Tim wrote:
PhilD wrote:
Roadsterstu wrote:
. I know you say, "where do you draw the line?" but that applies to everything that we have legislation for - firearms laws, for example.


Indeed. Some times you draw one, some times many. And the lines can move over time

For example going back to Bob's post;

"so we ban alcohol - yes, for under 18s, when driving and operating heavy equipment, at work, etc etc"

Cigarettes - yes for under 16s, in public...

Fatty & sugary foods - already being taxed

limit the drugs and painkillers we are allowed to have in the home - limits to amount an strength of over the counter painkillers.

fit 50mph limiters to all vehicles - Limits for lorries, caravans etc

Fence off all potentially dangerous locations - Building sites, firing ranges..

Ban all extreme sports - BASE jumping banned in cities. Pretty sure train surfing is illegal.


I think there was something called the 'Reasonable Test' when I had to do a bit of law as part of my accountancy studies - "What would a reasonable person be reasonably expected to do?"

I think it's safe to say that looking down into your car for a prolonged period, to select a phone number or type a text, could be considered unreasonable?


Unfortunately what is 'reasonable' in today's society seems rather a bit murky now.
Roadsterstu

Nice Guy Eddie wrote:
The issues people have with this law is that its not monitored correctly. Why is ok to do a multitude of operations via the touchscreen in my car whilst doing 80mph but it becomes 6 points whilst your stationery at traffic lights and you pick up your phone to move a song forward by clicking one button. Why is it ok to smoke a cigarette when on the move and not press a button on your phone that's attached to the dash. Surely each action is equally dangerous or safe depending on your viewpoint.


The reason being that a lot of people don't simply make a simple track change but instead get into texting, watching videos or are engrossing themselves in phone calls. And as a result collisions are occurring. Of course a collision could happen as a result of someone touching the satnav screen but it isn't deemed to be a wide enough problem to warrant a specific offence like phone use. Plus, there are offences to cover lack of attention to driving anyway. It's just that phone use was deemed sufficiently widespread to require deterrent and punishment. Various areas of the law are the same, it has always been the same.

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