Motorists in the Isle of Man have been warned against using mobile phones while driving.
We have been told by Gordon Edwards, road safety manager at the Department of Infrastructure, that we face heavy fines if we don’t keep our hands to ourselves on the steering wheel.
What Mr Edwards didn’t tell us was not to ogle – or oggle if you prefer, as many do – any fruity girls to be seen walking nearby.
(This also applies to oggling tasty young men, which some men might prefer, while there are lady drivers who will be drawn to the fruity girls. This is a multiple choice matter which is no concern of mine).
A survey – yes, another one – has been carried out by the insurance company Direct Line which shows that oggling causes nearly a million crashes a year, especially when summer clothing is worn.
Sixty per cent of men admitted to being distracted by good-looking girls and 12 per cent of women admitted to admiring good-looking young men.
I am not an oggler. What I do for the most part when I drive is think of other things and I don’t imagine Mr Edwards would approve of that either.
In fact I was doing some absorbing in-head creative work on this week’s column the other morning while driving up to the pedestrian crossing at the Promenade Methodist Church on Douglas seafront, and caused a group of elderly holidaymakers lawfully setting off across the road to find out that they could still jump backwards at life-saving speed.
My apologies, ladies and gentlemen. We don’t have so many visitors these days that we can afford to kill them off.
As far as mobile phone use by drivers is concerned I sometimes have occasion to ring ladies I know on their mobiles. They answer and I say brightly: ‘Hello. It’s only me.’
That’s as far as I get. ‘For heaven’s sake,’ they shout back. ‘I’m driving. I’m on the road. Go away’
I tell them, with proper humility, that I didn’t know, even though there was no way for me to know.
Mind you, they might have been oggling a Tom Daley lookalike in his Olympic budgies and this was the real cause of the irritation.
Right, so far no mobile phoning, no texting and no oggling. But that’s not all. Something else we drivers shouldn’t do is sing along to the car radio or a CD.
Psychologists at Monash University in Australia have done a survey – that’s right, you heard me – which shows that such songsters have slower reaction times when confronted by emergency situations on the road.
Finally, just to make it all worse a judge across the water has told the family of an elderly man that they should tell him what a lousy driver he is.
The poor old boy, aged 91, with bad eyesight and the onset of dementia, had caused havoc by driving the wrong way on a dual carriageway.
The judge added that other families should do the same. My family have been doing it for years. It just doesn’t bear thinking about, whether I’m driving or not.
• Manx Radio received a news release from the Department of Health with the warning: ‘Emagoed until 2pm Tuesday 14th August 2012.
It was signed by Jonathan Davies, obviously a Welshman.
• ‘Evita’ was a huge success at the Gaiety. It reminded me of Terry Wogan, on BBC Radio 2, when the show was on in the West End, telling his listeners that he usually called at a chippy run by his friends Alf and Tina but he wouldn’t be able to make it that night, adding: ‘Don’t fry for me Alf and Tina.’
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Weather for Isle of Man
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 6 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west