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Mobile working and moral responsibility

Friends of mine should know better than to talk to me about using their smartphones when they're behind the wheel. Once again though a friend has fallen foul of me and been rebuked with a lecture about road safety and moral responsibility. I certainly know how to make a room fall silent!

He'd foolishly forgotten how much I hate the idea of someone watching a screen rather than the road. And that I can't keep quiet about it! I just have to say something.

Steve, a salesman, whose the type of guy that can sell ice to eskimos, was recounting how he's been using various apps and smartphone features to plan a pitch to his client. Interesting stuff. I learnt a fair bit. But Steve ruined it for me when he recalled how he'd done all this snazzy stuff while behind the wheel on the way to see his client. What!

I'm always dumbfounded when people think it cool to create something on their smartphones when their driving a car. Sadly, I seem to be spending an increasing amount of time dumbfounded.

Opening a text, reading an email or simply saying to a caller, "I'm driving, I'll call you back,", is a big no no for me. Am I the only one who thinks like this?

My other friends seemed more interested in asking Steve about the apps he was using and how they made his life easier. The fact that his behaviour was utter madness and bang out of order was far from their minds?

Am I going to be the one that pipes up again and tells Steve that he's a crazy fool. Yes, you guessed it. No-one else even batted an eyelid. We've got a big problem in society if behaviour like this is seen as the norm.

My friends eyes started to roll by the time I'd finished my first sentence. This tells me two things.

Firstly, that the way I communicate the message to my mates clearly doesn't work. They are fed up of me "going on about it" as mentioned to me later.

Secondly, it also tells me that they really aren't interested in the association that exists between road collisions and smartphone use. They either can't see it, don't believe it or just don't care. I'd like to think that it's not the later. Driving is a serious business; especially so when it goes wrong.

My conversation made me think about the blogs I write on distracted driving. Are readers as equally as fed up with me 'going on' about mobile madness? If you are I'm sorry to hear that, but I'm not going to change my ways. We need to get people who drive behind the wheel to stop. We need to make them realise that their behaviour is wrong.

Today folk feel free to talk about this type of bad behaviour without fear of push back from their friends. It needs to be made unacceptable. I - like you - have a role to play in making that happen.

Let your voice be heard and don't fear being made to be feel like the odd one out. If someone is using their smartphone behind the wheel then you have to say something. You'll be doing the driver and all of us a good service.

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CV Bloggers

Jonathan Green
Smart Mobility Management -

Jonathan Green is Editor of Smart Mobility Management and a contributor to Fleet Europe and Global Fleet. He gets excited about investigating how corporations and suppliers can become better at what they do, and how trends in the market and wider society influence the fleet, travel and mobility marketplace. A recent convert to the world of writing Jonathan has previously managed corporate fleet and business travel programmes and has 7 years experience as a consultant in business transformation and change.

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