As the country`s top motoring lawyer, he has successfully defended countless drivers charged with using their phone at the wheel.
Yet Nick Freeman is now calling for an outright ban on the use of hands-free phones while driving, saying it is the one thing he would most like to change about current road traffic law.
Speaking at a charity lunch in Manchester this week, Freeman – known as Mr Loophole for his ability to secure acquittals for celebrities based on legal technicalities – spoke of his urgent desire to see the Government outlaw drivers who make hands free calls.
Even though his celebrity successes include Jimmy Carr who was cleared of using his mobile phone at the wheel. (Freeman successfully argued that the comedian was using his iPhone to record a joke, which was not an interactive communication.)
The celebrity lawyer told the packed audience: “It`s the one thing I would like to change about the law above all else.
“Everyone thinks that if you`re using a phone and you`re hands free then you are fine and dandy. But speaking on a mobile phone is a major cause of distraction, irrespective of whether the call is hands free or not.
“In my opinion, any form of use of a phone, except for an emergency should be banned. The reality is that if you`re using it legally or illegally – hand held or hands free – the distraction level is the same.
“In fact, in terms of distraction it has been equated with just below the level at which you`re permitted to drink and drive. Which means the chances of you having an accident using hands free increases four-fold. The stakes are just too high.”
Using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel has been illegal since 2003 and is now penalised with six points on the offender’s licence and a £200 fine.
But mounting research suggests that, although legal, driving and using a mobile hands-free — either on speakerphone or with Bluetooth technology that connects a phone wirelessly to speakers or a headset — is just as dangerous.
In 2016 psychologists at the University of Sussex found driving while talking on a hands-free phone can be just as distracting as talking on a hand-held mobile. The study, published in the Transportation Research Journal, revealed this was because conversations cause the motorist to visually imagine what they’re talking about.
Nick Freeman made his comments at an anniversary lunch to mark the centenary of the Women’s International Zionist Organization (WIZO UK), a volunteer organisation dedicated to funding social, educational and welfare support projects for disadvantaged families, women and children in Israel.
The Cheshire-based lawyer has scored courtroom victories for countless celebrities including Sir Alex Ferguson and David Beckham, making him the highest profile solicitor in the country.
Yet despite his art of loopholes, the lawyer now believes any use of a phone behind the wheel – including hands free should be banned.
He added: “I realise people use the car as an extension of the office – I do it myself. If I`m driving from my offices in Manchester to London and I`ve got 30 calls to make, it’s the perfect time to do it.
“But if you`re doing that, you’re involved in conversations that require concentration. And if you`re just talking, you`re thinking about your conversation, the journey has gone and you don`t remember those last 20 miles.
“It is time the Government acted to put an end to the menace of hands free and they need to impose a penalty commensurate with drink driving.”
About Freeman & Co.
Freeman & Co. are a specialist firm of road traffic and criminal defence solicitors based in Manchester but with nationwide coverage.
Freeman & Co. specialise in a wide variety of road traffic cases, ranging from drink driving, speeding and mobile phone offences, to name but a few.
The firm was created by Nick Freeman, who has been dubbed “Mr Loophole” by the press for his technical legal ability and robustly challenging the prosecution.
Nick is well regarded as an expert road traffic lawyer and has successfully represented many high profile clients for a variety of motoring offences as well as criminal offences.
The firm of Freeman & Co. embodies the way Nick works, with minute attention to detail and challenging the prosecution at every turn.
If you are facing a road traffic matter or criminal offence and need the services of Freeman & Co. please call on 0161 236 7007.
Freeman & Co. are available for Police Station attendances and an experienced criminal lawyer is on hand to take your call.
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Freeman & Co Solicitors
8 Oxford Court
Tel. 0161 236 7007