More drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel
Alan Kennedy, chair of Road Safety GB, has called for the introduction of technology to prevent drivers using a mobile phone while a car engine is running.
The call follows research by the Transport Research Laboratory showing that more drivers are using hand-held mobile phones than before tougher penalties were introduced two years ago,.
The TRL report says that 2.6% of car drivers were using hand-held mobile phones in 2006, but this almost halved to 1.4% the following year, when tougher penalties were brought in. The fine was doubled to £60 and three points were put on offenders' licences.
But since then the number has been rising and this year 2.8% of car drivers were found using a hand-held mobile - more than before the tougher penalties came into force.
The report also says that taxi and van drivers are also now more likely to use a hand-held mobile phone than they were before the penalties were increased.
It also shows that hands-free mobile use by car drivers has risen consistently, from 1.2% in 2006 to 4.8% in 2009.
Alan Kennedy, chair of Road Safety GB, said: "Drivers who continue to use their mobile phones when behind the wheel would appear to have little understanding of the grave danger they pose to themselves and other road users. As well as having no respect for other road users, they are also not deterred by the threat of being caught by the police.
"The change in law has clearly had no effect and it is now time to consider technology that would prevent a phone being used in a car while the engine is running."
Click here to read the full BBC News report.