Mobile Phone Usage Whilst Driving On The Increase
After a dip in recent years it appears that mobile phone use by drivers is once again on the increase.
According to a survey by the RAC the number of motorists admitting that they have used a mobile phone whilst driving has increased to 31% (up from 8% in 2014), instant messaging use (text and social media) has gone up from 7% to 19%, while 14% of drivers admit that they have taken a photo or video from behind the wheel.
Commenting on these findings, Rob Crompton, Head of RTA at Michael Lewin Solicitors said “Phone use whilst driving is becoming a real epidemic; the figures certainly suggest that there is an addiction with mobile usage and many of us simply can’t ignore the device when it’s next to us.”
It is illegal to use a mobile device whilst driving a car or riding a motorcycle.
Rob continued, “We need the use of a mobile device whilst in control of a vehicle to become socially unacceptable; the threat of an automatic fixed penalty notice or penalty points just doesn’t seem enough of a deterrent, so we would like to see the Government get tough on this modern menace and we would also like to see a series of campaigns that show the real impact of being distracted whilst driving like we continue to see with ‘drink driving’. Until that happens we can only see these numbers rising.”
The survey by the RAC also shows that 7% of offenders knew they were doing wrong but knew that they would get away with it and 12% said that using their phone was just a habit.
We are pleased that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has told the Commons he would shortly be announcing “tough plans” to tackle the use of mobiles by drivers. We are looking forward to seeing more on these proposals and hope that they are tough enough to stop this dangerous behaviour.
A final bit of advice from Rob is “Once you get behind the wheel of a car, switch off your phone and keep it out of your reach.”
'Enforce tougher penalties for mobile phone use while driving.' has 25 signatures - https://t.co/i15r77qR17— uk-epetition-echo (@ukepetitionecho) September 14, 2016
The illegal use of mobile phones behind the wheel is at “epidemic proportions” because drivers have no fear that they will be caught by police, the RAC has warned.
The proportion of people who think it is acceptable to take a quick call on a handheld phone has doubled in the last two years, according to the latest research.