Road Safety GB has issued a comment in response to a new report, published by the Transport Committee, which calls for the Government to take tougher action to tackle mobile phone usage by drivers.
The report, published on 13 August, calls for an overhaul of mobile phone laws, including extending the ban to hands-free devices.
It encourages the Government to work with police forces to boost enforcement – and to review and potentially increase penalties for the offence, so that it is clear there are serious consequences to being caught.
Steve Horton, Road Safety GB’s director of communications, said: “Based on the clear research evidence on impairment and distraction, if the laws governing mobile phones and driving were developed now it is very likely that hands-free phone use would also be banned.
“Many drivers believe that because using a hands-free phone while driving is legal, that it must be safe.
“We would argue that while it may be legal to drive at the drink drive limit or at the speed limit, it doesn’t mean it’s safe to do so.
“Any education message needs the backup of the law to reinforce the right behaviour choice, so the fear of detection is critical; in setting expectations we confirm the view of society around the behaviour.
“Just because it’s hard to always enforce we still should send out the clear message that if and when caught the full weight of the law will be applied; it’s not possible to catch everyone who speeds or who drink drives – but society is clear in its condemnation of these behaviours.
“We know there are a myriad of other distractions for drivers including eating, dealing with children, switching the radio over, listening to music – but these tend to be short lived and ignored or ceased when a complex driving situation arises.
“Mobile phone distraction is totally different – whilst other distractions can impair drivers they can be easier to manage than someone discussing something unrelated to the journey.”
- Click here to read the full Road Safety News report.
14 August 2019