Thousands of Britons use their phones while driving — but these 17 foreigners are the real problem
There’s quite a lot happening in the world right now. Donald Trump is chasing Hillary Clinton in the polls, Iraqi troops are pushing into Mosul, inflation is climbing and Michael Heseltine may or may not be a dog murderer.
Yet today, the Mail front page features nine ‘foreign truckers’ using mobile phones in the cabs of their vehicles.
‘Madness!’ the headline read. ‘As Polish lorry driver is jailed for killing a family while on his mobile, we catch SEVENTEEN foreign truckers using their phones at 50mph. The law MUST be toughened.’
Of course, road safety is a serious matter, as is dangerous phone use by the drivers of heavy duty vehicles. However, as the Mail itself has pointed out, hundreds of thousands of motorists use their phones while driving each year — it’s not clear why these 17 foreign ones are a particular cause for concern.
Well actually, it is clear. Earlier this week, a Polish truck driver was convicted of dangerous driving, and the Mail spied an opportunity to spread fear and hatred of foreigners.
Of course, that’s repugnant in itself, but it also devalues one of the Mail’s only non-despicable causes.
In September, the paper launched a campaign against drivers using mobiles behind the wheel, calling for stiffer deterrents to combat the ‘epidemic’ of dangerous phone use. For once, a group who actually deserved it was getting the ‘sidebar of shame’ treatment.
Unfortunately, it’s taken less than two months for the tabloid to prove that far from being a noble effort, this campaign — like all the others — is simply a front for paper-selling, profit-making xenophobia.
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