Some in the UK still use hand held mobile phones while driving – despite it being outlawed – although the number is dwindling, and each instance of a driver having an accident while being distracted by a mobile serves as reinforcement. Once again, here is a practice that is treated differently across the EU.
The news that hand held mobiles equals distraction (and thereby equals potentially nasty accidents) has not yet taken hold in Portugal. If I was in any doubt about the practice being widespread, this was dispelled by the driver of an Eva bus last weekend: the route and time not advertised, in case the management are looking in.
Since that moment, I’ve been aware of drivers of variously sized commercial vehicles casually using hand held mobiles while negotiating the trickiest of roads, and the routinely heavy weekday traffic. Maybe there isn’t a penalty for doing so – yet. It’s not the most significant detail, but it demonstrates once again that the EU is not one homogenous state.