Gareth from the Office: Mobiles drive me crazy


So, a motorist has been banned from driving for a year for talking on his mobile phone while ‘texting’ with another. The dolt was driving without insurance as well...

He’s lucky it was only a year. The whole ‘talking on mobile phones while driving’ issue is one that gets me riled up a bit because I unfortunately got caught doing it around four years ago.

Gareth Ellis

Gareth Ellis

I say unfortunately, I mean I was a damn fool for doing it in the first place. The law had just come into force but I was following a police car, for God’s sake, what did I expect? I even commented to the person on the other end that the car in front was driving slowly.

So now when I see someone driving while making a call I’ll do anything to show my displeasure – I’ll flash my lights, blast the horn, anything. Hey if I’m going to get pulled up for it why should others get away with it?

But the driving ‘one handed’ topic brings me on to a very important debate. Should drivers be allowed to eat, drink or smoke when they’re driving? Is that considered to be less of a distraction than making a phone call?

The point of a law against driving whilst talking on your mobile phone is that while you are talking your concentration and one of your free hands is taken away.

So if you’re taking a swig from a bottle or a bite from a sandwich, where are your eyes? Even for that split second they’re not on the road, and we all know accidents can happen in the blink of an eye.

So where does smoking fit into all of this? Should people be allowed to smoke while they’re driving?

If you take a bite out of a sandwich and half of it falls on your lap your concentration is lost, so what would happen if you drop a lit cigarette?

People may argue that they would be calm about that, but are you telling me you wouldn’t look down to see where it went?

Now you may argue that a cigarette in your hand is easier to hold whilst also grasping the steering wheel and I may agree there, but if it is illegal to light one while you’re driving why is it legal to carry on smoking it?

Maybe car manufacturers should consider not installing cigarette lighters in their cars. Then people may be less inclined to spark up while they’re on the road.

I do a lot to make sure I’m not the cause of an accident. I don’t use my phone for texting or making calls, I don’t drink and drive...but that’s an issue for another day.

But be warned, if I see you out and about driving your car and you’re on the phone then you will get a beep.

Come on, that’s what hands-free connections are for, so that your hands are free. The clue is in the title, after all.