Half of Britons think all mobile phone usage dangerous while driving

Motorists were caught illegally using their mobile phones every seven minutes in the wake of changes in legislation earlier this year.

Sep 5, 2017

Motorists were caught illegally using their mobile phones every seven minutes in the wake of changes in legislation earlier this year. More than 200 drivers a day were offending in the four weeks after stiffer sentences were introduced in March, new Freedom of Information figures reveal. The news comes as government research revealed half of Britons believe all use of mobiles while driving is dangerous. A fifth of people polled said they “strongly agree” that using a phone behind the wheel – even with a hands-free kit – is dangerous, with a further 28 per cent replying that they “agree” with the statement. The overall number of people who think mobile use is dangerous for motorists has fallen since 2009, when the proportion was more than three-fifths (61 per cent). The figures were published by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of its British social attitudes survey: 2016. Twenty-two people were killed and 99 were seriously injured in collisions on Britain’s roads when a driver using a phone was a contributing factor in 2015, separate DfT statistics show. Since March 1, drivers who use a hand-held phone have faced receiving six points on their licence and a £200 fine – up from the previous penalty of three points and £100. However, motoring groups have warned that the crackdown on illegal mobile usage risks being undermined by a lack of dedicated traffic police officers.

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