Most drivers welcome increased fixed penalty fines for people who use a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel – despite 42% admitting to having done so themselves – according to the latest AA/Populus survey (Herald Scotland).
The results of the survey of nearly 21,000 drivers published today (13 May) follow the announcement last week that the Government intends to crackdown on dangerous driving. As part of the crackdown, Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, said that the penalty for ‘texting’ while driving will increase to £90.
In the survey, 74% of respondents said they have seen others use mobile phones on some or most journeys, with 25% seeing the practice on every journey.
58% said they had never used a hand-held phone in the car, but of the 42% that have used a phone, 60% admitted it distracted them.
Around 20% admitted to having used a mobile phone to send a text while driving, 4% to checking emails and 2% to sending emails. 2% claimed to have read Twitter or Facebook updates and 1% have tweeted while at the wheel.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “This epidemic of hand-held mobile phone use while driving has already cost lives, and our members are demanding action. An increase in the standard motoring fixed-penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use.”
He said it was imperative that targeted police enforcement campaigns help to reinforce the message and that AA members broadly support an increase in the level of the fixed penalty.
Mr King added: “Our members also fully support education, so for some offenders an awareness course may be all they need to persuade them to comply with the law in future.
“It is worrying that the equivalent of six million drivers even admit to texting on the move. Action must be taken to stop these talking, texting, tweeting drivers.”
Click here to read the full Herald Scotland news item.