A day rarely goes by in the Foundation office without someone reporting a close encounter with a driver using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel. And similar lack of attention to other road users by texters and talkers alike is reported by road safety organisations across Europe. Writing in The Times today, ‘Lorry drivers fight their lonely nights at the wheel by taking in a road movie’ , Adam Sage describes how the number of HGV drivers watching DVD’s on laptops in their cabs has got so worrying in France that officials have demanded harsher punishments for offenders. The fine for watching a film while in charge of a vehicle was increased this weekend from €135 (£111) to €1500 (£1240). Police were also given powers to confiscate DVD players. A total of 324 hauliers were caught watching a DVD in France in 2010, the last year for which full figures are available. The signs are that the offence is becoming more prevalent. But the guilty drivers are not all French. When police in Montpellier focused on the matter last month, during the course of one hour they reported stopping a Pole, a Spaniard and a Lithuanian viewing films in their cabs. Nor is the practice confined to mainland Europe: although the issue is particularly sensitive in France, which has more trucks on its roads than any other European country, there have also been cases in Britain. Last year, a German driver was stopped in North Wales watching Das Boot, the 1981 movie about a Second World War U-boat. Such practices put the use of the mobile phone in perspective, and it may be the thin end of the wedge. But it is one which is keeping the door open to unnecessary death and injury on the UK roads. Switch it off.