In tomorrow?s issue of Cycling Weekly Nokia MD Simon Ainslie responds to my argument that his company was unfit to sponsor recent National Bike Week. Why? Because cyclists are among those put at risk by drivers who use hands-free mobile phone kits when driving.
The problem is, the law bans only the use of hand-held phones, not hands-free. So mobile phone companies are free to sell these kits and drivers to use them.
But by doing so, makers and users are ignoring worldwide research findings, including those of the Transport Road Laboratory, and safety organisations such as RoSPA, who claim hands-free to be just as dangerous to use when driving as hand-held phones. They want hands-free outlawed, too.
They claim that the use of any type of mobile phone reduces a driver?s response time to slower than that of a drink driver ? putting lives at risk, with cyclists among the most vulnerable.
Recently lorry driver Mervyn Richmond, 49, was jailed for four years for causing a fatal accident when he drove into the back of another vehicle while talking on his Bluetooth headset.
Nokia make Bluetooth headsets. The article also reveals how the major cycling organisations of Bike Week, Cycling England, CTC – the national cyclists? organisation and Sustrans, welcomed Nokia?s £200,000 sponsorship and have disregarded my argument.