Latest survey shows that mobile phone use whilst driving has increased.
The Government’s latest mobile phone use survey (published on 25 February) gives cause for concern as it shows that mobile phone use whilst driving in England has increased.
The report showed that the proportion of car drivers seen using a hand-held mobile phone has gone up. Overall, 1.6% of all drivers in England and Scotland were observed to be using a hand held mobile phone and that could be as many as half a million drivers every day!
Most were observed using the phone in their hand (1.1%) rather than holding it to their ear (0.5%) suggesting that most mobile phone use while driving is sending/receiving texts or using social media.
Male drivers (1.7%) are more likely to use a mobile phone than female drivers (1.3%) and van drivers (2.7%) are more likely to be observed using a mobile phone than car drivers (1.4%) or goods vehicle/lorry drivers (1.2%).
The only way to counter White Van Man’s addiction to mobiles is to have more cops in cars and for employers to take their duty of care more seriously. If not they could face corporate manslaughter charges.
It’s worrying that the percentage of car drivers using a hand-held mobile phone has not gone down since 2009. This shows that there is a hard-core of drivers who still believe there is nothing wrong with their behaviour and continue to put their own lives, and the lives of others, at risk by using their phone behind the wheel.
We know how common this behaviour is from our AA-Populus motoring panel. Virtually all of our members say they see other drivers using a hand-held mobile phone on most journeys, and the majority (81%) think that speaking on a hand-held mobile phone should be categorised as a dangerous driving offence in the event of a fatal collision.
Education and enforcement are the tools needed to try and keep our roads safe for everyone who uses them.
Edmund King (26 February 2015)
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