Clause 22 - Breach of requirements as to control of vehicle, mobile telephones etc.

Part of Road Safety Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 11:15 am on 27th January 2005.

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Photo of Charlotte Atkins Charlotte Atkins Assistant Whip, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Transport 11:15 am, 27th January 2005

No, I appreciate my hon. Friend's point. The point that I was making is that someone should not simply turn off the engine once they see a police officer approaching, and say that they are not guilty because the engine is turned off. If the engine is turned off to conserve energy because the driver is going nowhere, it is rather a different situation from one in which the engine is turned off for 15 seconds or so, so that the driver would not be guilty of an offence. That is the issue. The engine might be momentarily turned off, or in the case of an electric car, it might have turned itself off to conserve energy. The point is that at any one time, if one is driving a motor car, one wants to be aware of the road conditions and what is happening at that particular time and should not turn off the engine for 15 seconds when one is proceeding down the road. One should be focusing on driving carefully rather than using a mobile phone.