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Illegal Mobile Phone Use Whilst Driving Still Too Prevalent

August 2, 2009

Stand on any street corner and watch the traffic.

In a short while you are virtually certain to see a car, van or even a lorry driver breaking the law.

They will be using a mobile phone on the move – more than five years after it was first made illegal.

But motorists themselves, in a new nationwide survey from car breakdown service Autonational Rescue, have come up with a range of tough new measures to finally bring a halt to this thoroughly bad practice.

In the latest survey 43% of all UK drivers want to see heavier fines introduced, up to £120 for a first offence compared with the £60 fine currently in force.

Nearly a third of all drivers – 31% – want to see even tougher measures with offending motorists actually banned from driving for six months.

Thirty one per cent also want to see an increase in the number of penalty points issued on the licence – up to five points rather than the current three.  While 14% of drivers say offenders should be made to do some community work if they are caught using a mobile phone on the move.

Seventeen per cent believe that nothing should change, and that the current law is sufficient. 

Ronan Hart, Autonational Rescue’s marketing manager, says: “It’s a serious issue.  Every year a dozen people are killed and hundreds injured with the blame placed on drivers using hand-held mobile phones.

“Drivers who flout the law endanger others, so anything that can be done to help prevent these deaths and injuries should be seriously considered.

“But the best plan is for motorists to get into the habit of switching off their mobile phones before they set off on their journey.”

The independent survey was carried out across Great Britain by CAPI Omnibus based on a representative sample of around 1,000 adults at 72 sampling points.

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