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Mobile Phones Seized After Road Accidents

 
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mark occomore



Joined: 07 Dec 2006
Posts: 9955
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 4:05 pm    Post subject: Mobile Phones Seized After Road Accidents Reply with quote

Police could seize mobile phones after road accidents to see if that was a cause of the accident if the driver was texting or on the phone.

Obviously the technology on phones now could see people being prosecuted even if they weren't on the mobile as likes of Twitter and Facebook can still be running.

I think this is a brilliant idea as time and time again I see so many idiots still driving using a phone. Even the handsfree kits can cause car accidents, as your concentrating on the conversation than the road.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2706182/Police-seize-mobiles-EVERY-car-crash-Crackdown-calls-texting-wheel-bid-cut-deaths-distracted-drivers.html
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ruddlescat



Joined: 16 Sep 2010
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True but there again so can people eating or smoking whilst driving or being distracted by a load of screaming kids in the back seats

It's not a straightforward issue Confused
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Lord Evan Elpuss



Joined: 10 Dec 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to wonder, could Evans himself be sufficient a distraction?
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becky sharp



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 6:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:
True but there again so can people eating or smoking whilst driving or being distracted by a load of screaming kids in the back seats

It's not a straightforward issue Confused


Those are separate issues to the one being talked about,ruddles..

I am in complete agreement with Mark thinking this particular move is a good idea.

In the article it says ...

There have been growing calls for the Government to do more to stop drivers using phones at the wheel.
More than 500 people are estimated to be killed or seriously injured every year because car and lorry drivers were texting, responding to emails or posting messages on social networks.

To me those are shocking figures and this seems a good way to help reduce them.
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ruddlescat



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 7:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm certainly not against the police being more proactive in enforcing the law Becky but all I am saying is that there are many other distractions

I generally leave here at around 7am every weekday and on many occasions I've witnessed women applying make up whilst driving not to mention people eating breakfast and I even saw one youngish bloke cleaning his teeth Confused

Unfortunately in Britain today the authorities seem to get a 'bee in their bonnet' about certain problems but completely ignore other things which are equally if not more dangerous

Just give the police discretion to use their initiative and apply common sense in all such cases Smile
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mark occomore



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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There needs to be tougher laws on this. The number of cars on the roads have increased since the days you were fined for not wearing a seat belt. Drivers are so unaware or just plane dumb.
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becky sharp



Joined: 01 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 26, 2014 10:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:

I generally leave here at around 7am every weekday and on many occasions I've witnessed women applying make up whilst driving not to mention people eating breakfast and I even saw one youngish bloke cleaning his teeth Confused

All deplorable actions,ruddles, Evil or Very Mad which is why I welcome this proposed action which would,hopefully, help eliminate one of the reasons for needless accidents.
ruddlescat wrote:
Just give the police discretion to use their initiative and apply common sense in all such cases Smile

They can use more than their initiative when arriving at the scene of an accident by checking to see if any of the people involved were on their phones at the time of the accident.The police can then,according to the article,use the phones as prosecution evidence.

You will never have concrete evidence if someone has been doing the things you described unless of course a policeman has caught them in the act.

If we can take just take one of the reasons,for accidents,out of the equation it's got to be a good thing.
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Colin



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So what about other devices that rely on a look-up to the nearest mobile BST (Base Station Transceiver) - things like MiFi devices, mobile 3G/4G dongles, other communication devices that rely on mobile data connectivity and exchange? It isn't just phones that are making connections on the move, it could be any number of "smart" devices that are communicating with mobile base stations in numerous ways. Some require communication via GPS and 3G/4G simultaneously.

Such a plan sounds well-meaning and "good" in theory but totally unworkable in practice. Let's not forget, also, that our wonderful government is cutting Police force budgets to the bone and the work required to analyse all this data will only add to the financial stress they're under.

ruddlescat wrote:
Just give the police discretion to use their initiative and apply common sense in all such cases Smile


Absolutely right. Recently, I did some videotape analysis for a regional crime squad member and he said much the same thing. Very often, a copper can arrive at an accident scene and make a pretty reasonable judgement as to whether a driver was distracted by phones, texting, make-up etc.
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becky sharp



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin wrote:


Such a plan sounds well-meaning and "good" in theory but totally unworkable in practice.


As I said before I am all for it so I prefer to wait and see how it works, in practice, rather than condemn it out of hand.

Colin wrote:
ruddlescat wrote:
Just give the police discretion to use their initiative and apply common sense in all such cases Smile


Absolutely right. Recently, I did some videotape analysis for a regional crime squad member and he said much the same thing.


The consensus seems to be phone checking is the way to go ...

"Police chiefs believe it is necessary to combat the growing numbers killed or seriously injured because drivers are distracted.
The move was welcomed last night by charities and pressure groups who have accused police and politicians of failing to make road safety a priority.

The advice to check phones at the roadside was issued to officers by Gloucestershire Chief Constable Suzette Davenport.


Miss Davenport, who is responsible for roads policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers, said she is determined to reduce mobile-related accidents."


Only time will tell whether it's a good idea or not.
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Colin



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

becky sharp wrote:
Miss Davenport, who is responsible for roads policing at the Association of Chief Police Officers, said she is determined to reduce mobile-related accidents."

Only time will tell whether it's a good idea or not.


I do agree with the motive, but I can't see how they make much headway. Consider two ways of sending a text message, for instance: one way is to pick up a handset and make physical keystrokes while driving. That's clearly unlawful (and rightly so). Another way is to do it hands-free: if, like me, you're an iPhone user, simply speak the text to Siri, as in: "Siri, new text message". Siri then asks you who the intended recipient is, I tell it, it sets up a new message, I speak it, and then say "Send" after which Siri confirms that it has been sent. If a reply is received, I can ask Siri to read it to me. Simple. All hands free and totally within the law.

It's the same for map navigation. I can ask the mapping device to direct me to a given location, it builds the journey according to set criteria and then provides me with a turn-by-turn sequence of directions as we travel.

The other add-on scenario is if I'm using a MiFi hotspot - as I have been today while driving home from north Norfolk - where my wife is using her phone via my connection. What can any investigating Police officer deduce from all that?

While I agree with the underlying thrust of Miss Davenport's argument, I think she needs to think it all through a bit more first!
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becky sharp



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin wrote:

While I agree with the underlying thrust of Miss Davenport's argument, I think she needs to think it all through a bit more first!

Doesn't sound ,from the article, that there is any more thinking to be done.

I can't vouch for it,of course, but I feel sure that this was not a unilateral decision.I would have thought that there would have been lots of consultation with others before a final decision was reached.
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Colin



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

becky sharp wrote:
Colin wrote:

While I agree with the underlying thrust of Miss Davenport's argument, I think she needs to think it all through a bit more first!

Doesn't sound ,from the article, that there is any more thinking to be done.


On the contrary, I think there's a lot more thinking to be done. For a start, the article is published in the Daily Mail (nuff said on that score!) but secondly it doesn't address any concerns that arise from constantly developing technologies. What, exactly, does "texting while at the wheel" actually mean? Does it include hands-free texting? Nope.
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becky sharp



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin wrote:


On the contrary, I think there's a lot more thinking to be done.


You might think that and that's entirely up to you but as I have already said it sounds,from the article, as if it is a done deal.

Colin wrote:
For a start, the article is published in the Daily Mail


From the Yahoo news site....

"Police have been ordered to check if motorists broke the law by using their phones in the moments before any accident.

Drivers involved in all car crashes will have their mobiles seized by police.
The move aims to cut deaths, with police using phones as evidence in prosecutions to determine whether motorists may have broken the law by phoning or texting at the wheel in the moments before any accident.
The advice to check phones at the roadside was issued to officers by Gloucestershire Chief Constable Suzette Davenport.
The move was welcomed last night by charities and pressure groups amidst concerns of the growing numbers killed or seriously injured because drivers are distracted by their mobile phones.
More than 500 people are estimated to be killed or seriously injured every year because car and lorry drivers were texting, responding to emails or posting messages on social networks.
Ed Morrow, of road safety charity Brake, said mobile phones are a 'menace on our roads' as many drivers continue to flout the law.
"We are fully supportive of the efforts by the police to clamp down on mobile phone use at the wheel," he said. "Offenders need to know they will be caught, they will be prosecuted, and there will be serious consequences."
According to the new initiative, the phone checks will apply to any accident, whereas previously they were made only in accidents where people were killed or seriously injured.


https://uk.news.yahoo.com/police-seize-mobiles-car-crashes-cut-deaths-012957159.html#9UOKwzn
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Colin



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My question still remains - how is an investigating officer going to be able to determine if a text message was sent by the driver physically making keystrokes (unlawful and, of course, very dangerous) or by a hands-free method (not unlawful)?

There's no acknowledgement anywhere that texting or even general web access can be achieved by legal means. So, if a data request is made by the Police to the phone company how will they know for sure which method was used?
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becky sharp



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin wrote:
My question still remains - how is an investigating officer going to be able to determine if a text message was sent by the driver physically making keystrokes (unlawful and, of course, very dangerous) or by a hands-free method (not unlawful)?

There's no acknowledgement anywhere that texting or even general web access can be achieved by legal means. So, if a data request is made by the Police to the phone company how will they know for sure which method was used?

I would forward any questions you have,on this matter, to the relevant authorities.
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Colin



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

On mentioning this earlier to old school friend of mine who went into the Metropolitan Police in the mid-70s and who recently retired, he commented: "It's all about soundbites to appease the politicians. They haven't got a bloody clue".

I thought that was rather funny!
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ruddlescat



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds about right Colin - rather like a very honest dermatologist I saw at Chester hospital yesterday Smile
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becky sharp



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It would seem that this subject has engendered a lot of conversation with some for the idea and some against
I was talking to a relative of mine,who is high up in the police force,and he thinks it is an excellent idea. Smile
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Colin



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

becky sharp wrote:
It would seem that this subject has engendered a lot of conversation with some for the idea and some against
I was talking to a relative of mine,who is high up in the police force,and he thinks it is an excellent idea. Smile


Wait until his force receives the increased charges from the telecoms companies for all the additional data searches!

As I've said already, I think it's a necessary process - I just don't see it being very workable due to the complications involved. These haven't been mentioned by the Daily Mail.......
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becky sharp



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PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin wrote:


As I've said already, I think it's a necessary process

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unclebuck



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have to agree with those who think this proposal hasn't been thought through.

1. I would imagine that someone who has just been in a road-traffic accident is pretty high up in the league table of people who really do need immediate access to their mobile phones! If I had just been in an accident and the police turned up and the first thing they did was try to take my phone away (as it would need to be), then there would be a pretty high chance of a confrontation!

2. Confiscating a handset does not provide any evidence to show whether the driver was communicating by holding the phone (illegal) or hands-free (completely legal). Only in a case where no hands-free operation was technically possible, would there be any evidential value.
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Colin



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

unclebuck wrote:
I have to agree with those who think this proposal hasn't been thought through.

1. I would imagine that someone who has just been in a road-traffic accident is pretty high up in the league table of people who really do need immediate access to their mobile phones! If I had just been in an accident and the police turned up and the first thing they did was try to take my phone away (as it would need to be), then there would be a pretty high chance of a confrontation!

2. Confiscating a handset does not provide any evidence to show whether the driver was communicating by holding the phone (illegal) or hands-free (completely legal). Only in a case where no hands-free operation was technically possible, would there be any evidential value.


Exactly. And let's say I was involved in a traffic accident; does that mean that my iPhone (which is essential to the day-to-day running of my business) is going to be nabbed by a traffic officer for analysis? How long will it be taken away from me - a day, a week or (more likely) several weeks? And at what cost to the Police force? The main network providers are already stretched to the limit in having to satisfy data requests from police so how on earth they're going to manage this is anybody's guess. And, of course, the Police budgets themselves are being chopped to the bone.

Perhaps what they're actually talking about is catching people who are seen to be handling their phones while driving (which really is only half the story anyway) which they can do already. There's no way they can nail someone on account of their making a "hands-free" text message, but will they treat the resulting data analysis as if they were? It's nonsense.

I repeat - it's currently a "sound-bite" policy announcement (willingly regurgitated by the Daily Mail as usual) and really needs to be thought through. It'll be forgotten in a couple of weeks.
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John W



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin, although being observed driving while talking 'hands-free' is not illegal, if you have an accident while doing so then then having that conversation may be regarded as a contributory distraction.
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Colin



Joined: 26 Sep 2013
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

John W wrote:
Colin, although being observed driving while talking 'hands-free' is not illegal, if you have an accident while doing so then then having that conversation may be regarded as a contributory distraction.


That's true, but my point is that there's potentially other stuff going on over the connection that might be much more difficult to analyse. The point I made previously is that if I tell the device to create and send a text message using verbal commands (eg: using Siri voice recognition on an iPhone) then how will that hands-free process show up in the ensuing data analysis? The ISP log will show that a SMS was sent at a given time, but will it reflect the method by which it was generated and transmitted? And, in the meantime, they might have had my iPhone for weeks on end!

In other words, the basis of the main story sounds wonderful in theory (and makes it look like those in authority are getting tough) but in reality it doesn't actually point to a counter-measure that's any different to that which exists now. All it does is to create problems for all parties involved.
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ruddlescat



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 7:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At the start of this thread you may recall I said that this was not a straightforward issue and subsequent postings wonderfully illustrate exactly what I was saying

This proposal will be a Godsend for lawyers - not for me I'm now virtually retired - the problem being that Governments and civil servants draw up these laws without consulting the technical experts who - if asked - might well point out any technical shortfalls thus avoiding many predictable problems which are being stored up for the future Smile
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Colin



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2014 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ruddlescat wrote:
At the start of this thread you may recall I said that this was not a straightforward issue and subsequent postings wonderfully illustrate exactly what I was saying

This proposal will be a Godsend for lawyers - not for me I'm now virtually retired - the problem being that Governments and civil servants draw up these laws without consulting the technical experts who - if asked - might well point out any technical shortfalls thus avoiding many predictable problems which are being stored up for the future Smile


Couldn't agree more, Ruddles!
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becky sharp



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin wrote:



I repeat - it's currently a "sound-bite" policy announceme (willingly regurgitated by the Daily Mail as usual)

Looks as if the Mail was the first to report on this (on the 25th July) and it was then regurgitated by the Telegraph on the 26th of July...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/transport/10992473/Drivers-involved-in-crashes-to-be-forced-to-give-up-their-mobile-phones-by-police.html

...followed by the Independent on Monday the 28th of July

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/uk-police-to-start-seizing-drivers-mobile-phones-after-all-crashes-9632873.html


Once this measure gets lodged in the heads of drivers just the thought of it might serve as a deterrent to some of them which, to my mind, can only be a good thing. Many lives could be saved as a result.

(I didn't see the replies to this earlier ....my email notifications have,for some reason, stopped!)
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Colin



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

becky sharp wrote:
Looks as if the Mail was the first to report on this (on the 25th July) and it was then regurgitated by the Telegraph on the 26th of July...


But, looking at the content, it's obvious that the Mail merely regurgitated a Press Release - and very obediently at that!

I still don't think this will make any tangible difference at all the behaviour of many people who unlawfully use their handsets while driving. Trouble is that it could make life very difficult for those who use their "smart" devices, er, smartly.

becky sharp wrote:
(I didn't see the replies to this earlier ....my email notifications have,for some reason, stopped!)


Me too. The software that runs this package on the server is very lumpy due to its age. I would guess that the person who runs the server in India doesn't really care that much, to be honest.
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becky sharp



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2014 9:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin wrote:


But, looking at the content, it's obvious that the Mail merely regurgitated a Press Release - and very obediently at that


And the others merely followed them....I don't know about the obedient bit. Wink Still, it's a subject that has got people talking,wherever the source.

Colin wrote:
Me too. The software that runs this package on the server is very lumpy due to its age. I would guess that the person who runs the server in India doesn't really care that much, to be honest.

I got this one so perhaps there is a temporary glitch somewhere. Confused
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