Using the phone behind the wheel is an increasingly common cause of accidents. The countries of the European Union are tightening penalties for this type of offense. In Spain, drivers might soon be personally liable to pay from their own assets if they cause an accident while using a phone.
Pons Seguridad Vial, a leading Spanish company specializing in strategic public consultancy in the field of responsible mobility and road safety, has recently proposed a controversial solution. It aims to fight drivers who use phones while driving, who are increasingly causing accidents.
According to Pons’ proposition, if a driver is using a phone and causes a collision, he would be subject to the law of recourse. Insurer regress means that the insurer has the right to demand reimbursement of the compensation paid, from the insured person, so the driver would be liable to pay for the damages from his own assets.
Opposition of the automobile club
The Spanish automobile club RACE considers this solution „disproportionate”. Th club representatives claim that insurers should not be able to use the mistake of using the phone behind the wheel to recover from the perpetrator the amount of compensation. In return, RACE proposes to adapt the current regulations to the situation on the roads and be able to withdraw the licenses to drivers who regularly break the rules, including the ban on using the telephone.
The General Directorate of Road Traffic promised to investigate the Pons Seguridad Vial proposal.
Do you think, is this a fair solution?
Phone at the wheel in other countries
Not only Spaniards see how seriously the road users are in danger when using their phone while driving. Germany in October 2017 raised fines for this offense from 40 to 100 euros. Punishment applies equally to telephones as well as tablets, laptops, e-book readers and smart glasses, etc. If an accident or damage to property occurs through the use of any of these devices, the driver must reckon with a fine of 150 or 200 euros and he might lose his right to drive vehicles for one month.
The French, in turn, banned the use of the telephone even during a stopover.
On the other hand, the Dutch are lobbying in the European Union with the introduction of mandatory devices in trucks that would turn off the screen of the smartphone making it impossible to use it while driving. This equipment would automatically recognize the movement of the vehicle and cut off individual functions of the phone.
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