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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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EditorialsUp Front 10/14

Up Front 10/14

Slow drivers have always been the cause of much debate. Other road users complain that those that insist on pottering along well below the speed limit are a menace. “Sunday Drivers” is one of the more polite comments that people snarl as they speed past a car at the head of a three mile traffic jam. Another hazard is the driver that hogs the middle lane of the motorway, forcing other motorway users to make dangerous manoeuvres in order to keep the traffic flowing. More recently, those using mobile phones whilst driving have proved a danger and their use on the roads has been banned. The government website citing the law says: “It’s illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices. The rules are the same if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.” This all makes absolute sense, but is it time to look at the use of mobile devices elsewhere? Just recently a report from a Chinese newspaper highlighted a new law on the streets of the Chinese city of Chongqing that made it illegal for pedestrians to use their mobile phones on certain sections of pavement. The pavement now has two lanes and in one of them if you are caught making a call, sending a text or posting a status to a social media site you could be fined. And about time. Negotiating your way through city streets these days is fraught with danger. Not only are we likely to encounter people deep in loud, rambling conversation, utterly oblivious to everything around them, but the chances of somebody suddenly slowing their dash from lunch to office to a snail-like crawl whilst they organise their evening’s television viewing has become a menace. Who’d have dreamed that a day would come when the peril of the pavement isn’t a pushchair, a wheelchair or a person with too much shopping? These days the real plague is known as the “smartphone zombie”. Seen one wandering aimlessly through your kitchen recently?   FB

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