BBC publishes data highlighting extent of ‘driver distraction’ issue
In the last four years, almost 10,000 drivers were caught twice for being distracted while driving, new figures obtained by the BBC have shown.
The data, obtained via a FOI request to the DVLA by BBC Radio 5 Live, covers the period 2012-15 and also shows that more than 600 people were caught three times and one driver five times.
A total of 42,950 motorists received a ‘CU80’ endorsement in 2015, a year-on-year reduction of 37%. CU80 endorsements cover a range of offences relating to control of a vehicle, including being distracted by a mobile phone.
The DVLA figures also reveal that although 238,694 people were caught driving while distracted at least once in the four year period, just 284 received a ban as a result.
The figures were published by the BBC just days after the sentencing of a lorry driver who killed a mum and three children when he crashed as a result of looking at his mobile phone. In the wake of the trial, the RAC and Brake both called for more to be done to deter drivers from using a mobile while driving.
The RAC described the latest DVLA figures as ‘shocking’.
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, said: “These shocking figures reveal the scale of the task in hand to reverse the relaxed attitudes of persistent offenders and to change driver behaviours.
“It will be interesting to see what impact the new increased penalties will have but with a significantly reduced presence of dedicated roads policing officers some will doubt they will bring about the behavioural change we need
“We need a concerted effort by the Government, the police and the courts using a combination of tougher penalties, targeted enforcement and a hard-hitting education campaign to tackle what has become a desperate problem for society."