General, Improving our roads, Transport

Tablet tweeting at wheel could lead to jail

158665040With the country going ‘app-solutely’ crazy for tablets, drivers are being warned that using them to tweet at traffic lights and go on Facebook in the fast lane could lead to jail.

Apple revealed this week downloads from its store have hit 40 billion while the Angry Birds game was downloaded 30 million times in just one week over Christmas.

This followed staggering demand last month for the likes of the iPad Mini, Google Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD that saw some shops reporting a 1,000% sales increase on last year.

Now people tempted to open a map app or post a Twitter or Facebook message using their high-tech present while driving are being urged to think again as part of Surrey County Council and Surrey Police’s Drive SMART campaign.

Penalties for using the gadgets at the wheel range from a £60 fine and three driving licence points to two years in jail for dangerous driving and five for causing death by careless driving.

Kay Hammond, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Safety, said: “Our advice to motorists is resist the urge and concentrate on the road instead. Checking Twitter, having a quick look on Amazon or using a sat nav app can lead to accidents because they divert attention away from the road.”

Inspector Richard Mallett, Roads Policing said: “Technology is marvellous, but anything that distracts a driver from the proper operation of a moving vehicle, which on average is a tonne and a half of metal and plastic, is a threat to life.
“I hope that in the excitement of receiving tablets, phones or satellite navigation systems for Christmas, motorists don’t forget the simple fact of staying safe on Surrey’s roads. Concentrate on the road and use tablets or other wireless or networked devices in a safe environment away from vehicles.”


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