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'Driver' of An AP Equipped MS Making a Hand-Held Mobile Call - Breaking the Law?

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by martinwinlow, Jan 11, 2016.

  1. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

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    Playing Devil's advocate for a moment...

    I had this discussion at work today. The letter of the law states "No person shall drive a motor vehicle on a road if s/he is using a hand-held mobile telephone...". Just wondering if you could prove you were not actually 'driving' then you couldn't be found guilty of the offence. 'Driving' has, by dint of case law, come to mean 'having control of brakes and steering'. If you could prove AP was on at the relevant time then there is a fair chance a sympathetic (Tesla-owning?) magistrate might agree that you were not technically driving. Of course you still have ultimate responsibility for the safety of your car but that is a separate matter and I wouldn't mind betting a canny lawyer might get away with it.

    If so, it opens a potentially huge can of worms. One thing's for sure, the real winners will be the lawyers! MW
     
  2. ohmman

    ohmman Maximum Plaid Member

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    My opinion - AP is on, you're still driving. For the foreseeable future, if you're in the driver's seat, you're driving.
     
  3. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    There is no wiggle room. Today, under current laws everywhere, the only person responsible for driving an auto steer car is the driver. You are still not allowed to use your cell phone.
     
  4. Ryan H

    Ryan H Member

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    Not buying it. Autopilot is a "driver assist" function, meaning it assists the driver; it does not take over. Attempting to muddy the water only hurts us in the long run. If I were Tesla, I would refund the person the price of Autopilot and remove it from their vehicle. Everyone on the road has to follow the laws that apply, regardless of the technology available to them.
     
  5. TC56

    TC56 Member

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    If you won the argument that you were not driving the car, you lay yourself open to the charge of not being in control. If they can fine people for eating a Mars bar while driving(not being in full control!), they would certainly go to town on that one.
     
  6. bryand

    bryand Member

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    The driver is in charge of the car, whether or not they are applying any force to the controls. You cannot be driving with Due Care and Attention if you are concentrating on a phone call.
     
  7. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

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    To be found guilty of an offence of 'not being in proper control' or 'driving without due care and attention' or 'driving without reasonable consideration for other road users' etc etc, contrary to the popular myth perpetuated by the media, there must be evidence given of something 'bad' happening to secure a conviction. For example, crashing is always good evidence, but unnecessary swerving or braking, poor lane discipline, failing to use the indicators, failing to give way etc etc will work, too. The offence of using a mobile phone is different because it is a specific offence ('absolute') and no other, usually subjective to a greater or lesser degree, poor driving evidence is required. Thus, it is purely the question of whether, as the wording of the offence puts it, you are 'driving' whilst using your mobile that is at the crux of the issue. Anyway, I can imagine it won't be long before we find out. MW
     

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