Driving whilst on the phone

In 3 days of cycle commuting last week, i saw nearly 10 drivers using there mobile phone whilst being in control of a moving vehicle. This is a real pet hate of mine, and anyone i see doing so is named and shamed on youtube and more than likely the footage is passed onto the Police. What they choose to do with it is up to them. If they are in company vehicles, i will also contact that company and make them aware of their drivers using mobiles whilst driving.

Anyone that has been in control of any vehicle in a metropolis will know that concentration is very important, traffic levels are always changing and cyclist and motorcyclist can appear from ‘no where’ if you aren’t watching your mirrors. Pedestrians will cross as soon as the traffic has stopped. Why do some people think that it is acceptable to drive a motor vehicle whilst holding a mobile phone to ear?

Being in charge of a motor vehicle and holding a mobile phone is against the law in the UK and you can be finned £60 (up to £1000 if taken to court) and 3 points on your license. But with the dropping number of police on the roads the motorists know they can get away with it 99/100 and this isn’t just limited to using mobile phones. Any one that is subscribed to my youtube channel or regularly watches videos from cyclists, they will see that some people behave on the roads in an unacceptable manner.

A study run by the department of psychology at the university of Utah in USA named ‘Fatal Distraction? A Comparison of the Cell Phone Drive and the Drunk Driver’ compares the reaction time of drunk drivers and drivers on the phone whilst in control of the vehicle. In summary:

We used a high-fidelity driving simulator to compare the performance of cell-phone drivers with drivers who were legally intoxicated from ethanol. When drivers were conversing on either a hand-held or hands-free cell-phone, their reactions were sluggish and they attempted to compensate by driving slower and increasing the following distance from the vehicle immediately in front of them. By contrast, when drivers were legally intoxicated they exhibited a more aggressive driving style, following closer to the vehicle immediately in front of them and applying more force while braking. When controlling for driving difficulty and time on task, cell-phone drivers exhibited greater impairment than intoxicated drivers.

A copy of the study can be downloaded from here.

Below are a selection of the drivers on the phone.


Upgrade to camera system

Anyone that follows me on youtube will know that last week I tested out a mount for my ContourHD that would attach to the rear of my bike via the seat post. After the success of the test i decided that I would upgrade my camera set up and have my ContourHD as a rear view camera and a ContourHD 1080p camera on my helmet. Much like the setup of the New Zealand cyclist TheVexatiousLitigant. A really important thing for me was that the mount shouldn’t interfere with my legs when i pedalled. I have used a few brackets for rear lights that have rubbed on my leg and it gets very annoying rather quickly. Due to the slim nature of the part that is connected the seat post, this isn’t an issue.

The mount.
I’m using a 3 RAM parts and the universal adapter for the ContourHD. The RAM mounts are rail base with ball & zinc u-bolt, double socket arm for 1″ ball and  1″ ball with 1/4″-20 alum stud. The end result looks like this:

The reason I got this is A. i wanted to upgrade to the 1080p anyway and i thought i might as well as keep the camera i have and use it on the rear. B. I wanted a better camera for the rear, the muvi i had wasn’t giving me the quality i wanted and it kept on turning off randomly which seemed to be down to me using OS X and the spotlight files left on the card.