Driver obsession with mobile devices continues despite tougher penalties
An alarming 9 million motorists still flouting the law and using their mobile phone behind the wheel
Despite tougher new laws being brought in to fight the battle of mobile phone use behind the wheel, an alarming 9 million motorists continue to flout the law.
The RAC’s latest research found that 9.2 million drivers are still using their mobile phone whilst driving to talk and text, as well as using their device to take photos and even videos – this figure creeps up to 16 million if you add those drivers who think it’s okay to call or text whilst sat in a queue or at traffic lights.
From March this year, those caught flouting the law regarding phone use behind the wheel risk being hit with a fine of £200 and six points on their licence, both of which have doubled in a effort to stop drivers from using their mobile devices whilst driving.
The breakdown recovery company carried out a poll last September with the help of 1,750 motorists and repeated it again this summer following the introduction of tougher penalties for those caught flouting the law.
A huge 89% of those questioned knew that changes to the law had been made regarding phone use behind the wheel but despite this, 26% admitted to still using their device on a regular basis whilst driving – however this figure has dropped 5% since last year’s survey.
Despite this, the RAC believes the situation regarding mobile phone use behind the wheel still ‘remains dire’ one year on.
“It is clear we have a hard core of persistent offenders who believe they can get away with it by continuing to flout the law every day,” said Pete Williams, spokesman for RAC road safety.
According to Mr Williams, the Government, road safety organisations and the police still have a big job on their hands trying to put an end to menacing mobile phone use behind the wheel.
The biggest concern amongst motorists when surveyed was the illegal use of mobile phones by drivers – 16% said it was their primary worry ahead of increased fuel prices and the state of roads in their area.
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