Banning hands-free phones will reduce road traffic accidents

Published: 22/11/2013

Drivers should not be allowed to use their mobile phones at all when behind the wheel even if they use a hands-free device, announced road safety charity Brake.

The calls to ban hands-free phones and raise the fine from £100 to between £500 and £1000 for using a mobile phone while driving come ten years after the motoring mobile phone ban was first introduced.

Recent figures show as many as more half a million road users have been penalised for using their mobile phone whilst driving or being otherwise distracted.

Julie Townsend is the Deputy Chief Executive of Brake:

“We’re living in an age when being constantly connected is the norm. More and more of us have smartphones, and find it hard to switch off, even for a minute.

“While there are enormous benefits to this new technology, it’s also posing dangerous temptations to drivers to divert their concentration away from the critical task at hand, often putting our most vulnerable road users in danger.

“Many people who wouldn’t dream of drink-driving are succumbing to using their phone and other distractions while driving, oblivious that the effect can be similar and the consequences just as horrific.”

The government have no plans to include hands-free phones in the ban but remain committed in making road safety a ‘top priority’.

“The government is determined that police have the powers they need to tackle any form of dangerous driving including anyone using a mobile phone at the wheel,” said a spokesman.

“That is why this year the fixed penalty for this offence was increased to £100 and carries three penalty points.

“Police can stop and arrest any driver if they believe they are not in charge of their vehicle, and this includes if the driver is using a hands-free mobile device.

“There are no plans to change the law around the use of hands-free devices but all penalties are kept under review to ensure they are appropriate.”

Content correct at time of publication

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