Thousands of drivers repeat ‘distraction’ offences

12.09 | 2 January 2018 | | 4 comments

New figures show that more than 6,000 motorists have been caught at least twice in the past four years for driving while distracted, including using a mobile phone. (The Guardian)

The figures, released by the DVLA in response to a FOI request by the Press Association, also show that more than 400 drivers were caught three times for the offence, 20 were caught four times and three were caught five times.

The RAC said the figures show that drivers feel there is ‘little chance of seeing a traffic police officer, let alone be caught by one for using their handheld phone’.

The data relates to the number of CU80 endorsements on driving records which are handed out to drivers found to be not in full control of their vehicle. Almost 174,000 drivers have at least one CU80 endorsement, which are erased after four years.

Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, said: “Responsible motorists and road users will be shocked to hear the number of persistent handheld mobile phone drivers who are prepared to disregard a first endorsement and continue to put their own lives and those of other road users at risk.

“The threat of a second endorsement and the possibility that they will lose their licence clearly is not enough to deter this hard core of drivers who are either oblivious to, or wantonly disregard, the danger it poses – often believing there is little chance of seeing a traffic police officer, let alone be caught by one for using their handheld phone at the wheel.”

Josh Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, told the Guardian: “6,000 repeat offenders in the past four years is truly staggering and makes a mockery of the points system. The laws clearly need tightening alongside stricter enforcement.”


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    Hugh you say that the use of phones is very low…. just come over to where I live and I will show you junctions where about one in 10 and sometimes one in eight drivers will be doing just that. I spend a lot of my time in traffic and its unbelievable just how many drivers are texting and looking down mistakenly believing that no one has seen the phone on their laps. We havn’t but we all know what they are doing. Those that aren’t are actually driving with a hand held phone up to their ear.

    bob craven
    Agree (2) | Disagree (0)

    Go Safe Wales confirm on the Snap Chat website that footage of phone use at the wheel will be accepted from the public. If, as is claimed “..drivers feel there is ‘little chance of seeing a traffic police officer, let alone be caught by one for using their handheld phone’ then this would help address the problem, especially if it is actively encouraged and welcomed by the police. Typically one in a hundred drivers will be on their phone and there is probably more chance of that being captured by a dashcam than a randomly moving around police vehicle, unless it is parked up for a while and they simply wait.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (0) | Disagree (2)

    Phone usage is still very, very low despite the media suggesting otherwise, but then again it only takes just one user to be distracted and the results can be catastrophic. More significantly however – and this applies to other common motoring offences – you do wonder about the mindset of repeat offenders knowing that they could be banned but they still can’t seem to stop themselves doing it – more so with the easier to detect offences, like speeding.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (0) | Disagree (9)

    When a law comes in that is unpopular with a significant number of people, then high levels of non-compliance are only to be expected. I’m not at all surprised with the 6,000 number of repeat offenders as many people just won’t learn to obey the law even when it is obviously the right thing to do. That’s just human nature and attachment to mobile phones verges on an addiction for many.

    What I do find interesting is why the RAC and Brake spokespeople use words like ‘shocked’ and ‘staggering’ . You don’t need to be a road safety expert to anticipate widespread disrespect of such laws, so why expect anything different? Hope for something different yes, but plan for the likely outcome and don’t be surprised by the obvious.

    Pat, Wales, Wales
    Agree (11) | Disagree (2)

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