MPs Concern at The Number of Drivers Using Mobile Phones

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Concern is mounting among MPs at the number of drivers using a mobile phone and flouting the law.

While it is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone when driving, use of a hands-free phone is legal. However, the Government says that use of a hands-free phone while driving is equally as dangerous with drivers slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.

Research shows that drivers are four times more likely to be in a crash if they use their phone and that reaction times are twice as slow if they text and drive than if they drink-drive, increasing to three times if using a hand-held phone.

The House of Commons Transport Select Committee, which is holding an inquiry into road safety, has this week embarked on a detailed investigation into road safety and mobile phone use. The Committee is considering: Use of mobile phones by drivers and the risks posed; the adequacy of legislation relating to mobile phone use by motorists; and how enforcement and education around mobile phone use can be improved.

Committee chairman Lilian Greenwood said: “Research shows that using a hand-held mobile phone impairs driving more than being above the drink-drive limit. In 2017 mobile phone use was a contributory factor in collisions leading to 773 casualties, including 43 fatalities. This is clearly unacceptable.”

Drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone while on the move receive six penalty points on their licence and a £200 fine. Additionally, if having passed the driving test in the past two years a driver will lose their licence. Drivers can also be taken to court where they can be banned from driving or riding and receive a maximum fine of £1,000 (£2,500 if driving a lorry or bus).

Best practice mobile phone use advise for fleet managers and drivers is available here.

Motorists Face £100 Fine for Ignoring Closed Motorway Lanes

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Motorists face a £100 fine and three penalty points on their licence if they are detected by cameras of driving in closed motorway lanes designated by a red X.

The penalties apply on smart motorways, which is when the hard shoulder is used as either a permanent or part-time running lane.

Until this week motorists who drove in closed lanes were only fined if they were caught by a police officer at the time of the offence. It has been reported that Highways England has also issued more than 180,000 warning letters to drivers who have ignored red X signs since the beginning of 2017.

However, this week motorway cameras went live to detect drivers who used lanes with a red X, which signal that a lane is closed and must not be used.

Neil Worth, road safety officer at road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist, said: "Red X signs are often displayed well ahead of a motorway incident, as they help ensure that emergency vehicles can reach the incident. Someone might be stranded in that lane, or there may well be emergency or recovery workers assisting at a collision or a breakdown. That’s why using a motorway lane with a red X is not only illegal but also very dangerous."

Key2 is the Contract Hire and Leasing Industries Top Choice

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Find out why Jaama is the Contract Hire and Leasing industries number one choice for business solutions!

Key2 Contract Hire and Leasing, the multi award-winning technology platform from Jaama is the operating system of choice for many FN50 contract hire and leasing companies.

Jaama’s Key2 platform is technically advanced, highly configurable and makes for a very attractive proposition for leasing companies as it negates the need to for them to spend vast amounts of time and money developing in-house systems.

An increasing number of vehicle leasing companies have decided to opt for Jaama’s Key2 system and Jaama currently has 9 customers within the Fleet News ‘FN50’.

Jaama attribute their success to the perpetual investment of some £2 million a year in the continuing development of Key2 but, critically, many of these enhancements are as a result of collaborative working with their customers who are all focused on ways to reduce manual intervention and improve their customers’ experience.

Numerous initiatives have been brought to market by Jaama as a result of collaboration with customers including:

  • A Customer Dashboard that can be customised and provides leasing companies’ clients with online access to a suite of reports providing a real-time comprehensive overview of their own fleets; for example JCT600 Vehicle Leasing Solutions has branded its ‘Fleet Controller’.
  • A V5C on Demand service developed in the wake of the Government’s decision to digitalise vehicle registration certificates negates the need for hard copies of V5’s to be stored by enabling the related information to be managed online.
  • The award-winning ‘MyVehicle App’, which integrates in real-time with Key2 and includes: defect managing, accident logging and providing drivers with self-service information such as fleet related telephone numbers and policy information.

The most recent Key2 enhancement is a new eSignature Module enabling a document to be sent from the software, signed using an electronic signature, and then instantly returned back into the system.

The functionality speeds up any process that previously required documents to be printed, have a ‘wet’ signature and then manually uploaded such as new vehicle driver handovers or daily rental agreements.