As some of you know, regularly on week day mornings I go LIVE on Instagram during the 30 minute drive home from dropping the girls at school.
My phone is in the holder that’s stuck to my windscreen, I set the LIVE going before I then begin to drive. I have comments off so there’s no distractions from wanting to read what people tuning in are saying and off I go.
I literally chat nonsense and air my morning thoughts out loud during the journey as I would to a passenger in the car beside me. Those of you that regularly check in to see what crap I’m spouting that morning I would imagine agree that I don’t interact with the camera, I don’t read or even see comments and don’t mess around with my phone. I literally just chat whilst the camera is on, rather than chat TO the camera. This is how it is until I pull onto my driveway at home.
I’ll be honest, I don’t feel distracted from driving using this method. If anything I usually lose trail of thought on talking because the driving distracts me from the talking.
Stay with me… I know there’s many of you at this point unfollowing me across social media and calling me all sorts of names that include, moron, idiot, stupid and much worse, as per a thread I’ve seen on Facebook. Not aimed at me specifically but aimed at people in general using Instagram whilst driving.
I felt comfortable with my method as I wasn’t uploading actual Instagram story clips that involves touching and playing around with your phone etc, I was merely chatting away almost to myself and my phone camera just happens to be on at the same time.
After a thread I saw in a Facebook group today, I began to question if my method was both acceptable and even legal.
I guess my thought process was that you can use your phone hands-free, for navigation etc… During my Instagram Lives I wasn’t even looking at the phone as I would if I were using the Sat-Nav on it.
What is the actual law on this?
This information is from think.direct.gov.uk and the last bullet point confirms using hands free is NOT illegal. So I’m not sure I was breaking any laws doing what I was doing.
Now, I’ve been scanning the internet and reading lots of articles surrounding filming whilst driving. It seems there is no black and white law on how this is managed. We all know holding equipment to film whilst driving is a NO, but when a device is mounted somewhere and doesn’t need to be touched or even a passenger is in control of the device, I can’t seem to see anywhere that states that is definitely an illegal action.
How many TV programmes and documentaries are filmed where a celebrity or sportsperson or whatever is being filmed and asked questions whilst their driving. I’ve seen many where a person is taking a drive around their old neighbourhood where they grew up and in the passenger seat there’s a camera man and in the back seat someone asking questions etc. Is that different to the method I’d been using to do an Instagram Live?
More on the law around this that I found…
These details in the slide show above were taken from an article in 2017 from www.express.co.uk and as you can see there’s no definitive. Again, whilst driving I never actually touched my phone again until I arrived home and stopped my car on the driveway.
There are a lot of distracting things we do or could do whilst driving that many people do without thinking every single day. Eating, drinking, smoking, changing the radio station, taking your eyes away from the road to look at the speedometer and much more. They all take away a percentage of your focus from the road. If you’re a parent you’ll know the most distracting thing whilst driving is having 3 children sat in the back bickering non-stop screaming and shouting at each other!
I’m confused on where this stops. Can we change radio stations, can we even chat to passengers anymore? I don’t know.
If there is any other legal information that you’ve come across that I’ve missed then please do present it so we can all learn from it.
The information above is what I’ve found after a night of googling on the legalities, it’s grey to say the least. Now I want to talk more around the acceptable side of this topic from a moral point of view.
To do this I’ve asked myself only one question.
First, something I thought about also was how important was it to do an Instagram Live at that particular time? I mean it’s not, if I don’t go live nobody would even care really. I went live because the drive home was a good 30 minutes and first thing in a morning it felt really good to chat away utilising this time to connect with others and I treated it as therapy for myself. As soon as I’d pull onto the driveway I’d turn the engine off and then go through the comments interacting with everyone that had joined in throughout the journey. Its become a bit of a thing now connecting with regular people most mornings.
But, ultimately, the question I’ve asked myself is…
If another driver crashed into me and more specifically, crashed into me whilst my wife and children were in the car and I found out they had be filming either an Instagram Story clip or even doing a Live using the method I had been using which I deemed safe to begin with, how would I feel?
I’m huge on self-awareness and self-development and after reading many comments on this subject and investigating further the method I’ve deemed safe and legal at present for me to use for my morning Instagram Lives, I’ve decided I will NOT continue doing this.
I promote being honest and real on and off the internet and being self-aware enough to know that not everything I do may be the right way thus opening myself up to change.
Please do let me know your thoughts on this, it’s a highly debated topic and with that in mind I’d appreciate if we could keep it sensible in the comments…
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