A new resource has been published to help road safety practitioners design effective methods of deterring mobile phone use among drivers.
The new ‘compendium’ is a result of the 13-month ‘Mobile:Engaged’ project, funded by the Road Safety Trust and carried out by researchers at the University of Keele.
The project team, led by Dr Helen Wells, looked at a range of projects to help practitioners build academic research into their activities, think critically about their approaches and explore methods of evaluating their work.
The compendium was launched on 12 March, with a warning to motorists about the dangers of using a hands-free mobile phone at the wheel.
Dr Helen Wells said: “Research consistently shows that hands-free phone use is no safer than hand-held use, but drivers are pushed towards believing it is a safer alternative.
“We can’t rely on the law as a guide to what is safe and what is not on this occasion, and we can’t rely on technology either. What you can buy, and what the law says you can do, are not going to keep you safe.
“That’s down to us as individual road users – to think about what we should be doing, not what we can get away with.”
Dr Wells hopes that the new compendium will be of benefit to a wide range of people interested in improving road safety.
She said: “As well as sharing good practice between practitioners, we have ensured there is useful information for police officers, road safety officers, technology companies, charities, drama groups, schools… in fact it’s aimed at anyone who is trying to do something about preventing mobile phone use by drivers.
“Through the production of the compendium, some great relationships have sprung up across the various sectors that will outlast the project itself.”
The Road Safety Trust also praised the levels of ‘collaboration and sharing that have taken place to create the compendium’.
Sally Lines, chief executive of the Road Safety Trust, said: “Thanks to the enthusiastic participation of road safety professionals, researchers and police officers, the project has produced what we believe will prove a very useful and practical resource.”