Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Function creep in action: Mobiles may be checked after crashes

The Telegraph reports that the English government proposes to use data retention to enforce the ban on mobile phones while driving:
Motorists face having their mobile phone records checked after a routine accident, under proposals unveiled by the Government yesterday...

In the review the Department for Transport paper says: "We will look at ways to make it easier for the police to be able to follow the process of investigating whether mobile phone use was a contributory factor in an accident and thus prosecute more offenders."

According to police sources this would entail lowering the seniority of both the officer who can check the records and the threshold of the severity of the accident.

Where the use of a phone is suspected to have been a cause in the accident, it is straightforward to check when calls were received or made, irrespective of whether the call was made on a hands-free or hand-held device.

If the phone were destroyed, police would, under the proposals, be able to use call records.
Remember - data retention was sold on the basis that it was necessary to prevent terrorism and serious crime.


  1. For this and other reasons, my car phone is registered to a separate name and a different address from my vehicle's registration data.

  2. Well, you wouldn't need data retention to do this, since the records would always be kept at least a few weeks anyway.

    I thought that dangerous driving causing death was a serious crime, but maybe i am wrong.