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1 in 3 use mobile phone behind the wheel
A third of motorists in the UK admit to using their mobile phone when driving, according to new research from insurance company Liverpool Victoria.
The study also highlighted 20% of drivers think that using a mobile at the wheel is acceptable, while data showed that some road users even check Facebook and Twitter while driving.
A ban on mobile phone use when driving was introduced in the UK in December 2003 – break this and you’ll be punished by a £60 on the spot fine and three points on your driving licence. Despite this deterrent however, around 1 million people have been caught breaking the law.
Managing Director of Liverpool Victoria, John O’Roarke:
“It’s worrying to see that many motorists are continuing to use their devices when on the road.
“While it can seem tempting for people to use their mobile phones at the wheel, they should always pull over to make a call, send a text or browse the Internet.
“By not doing so, they risk points, a fine or, even worse, causing an accident.”
A research programme conducted by psychologists at the University of Utah, America, found that talking or texting on a mobile phone is as dangerous as driving under the influence of alcohol.
Three drivers from the study actually crashed into the back of the test car, which braked intermittently to test the driver’s concentration and reactions. All were talking on a mobile phone. None were drunk.
Many modern vehicles now feature Bluetooth and hands-free communication systems, but drivers of older cars not fitted with the technology – or motorists choosing not to use it where equipped –are putting themselves and other road users at risk when using their mobile.
It’s difficult to enforce mobile phone laws, as it requires a police presence to catch offenders on a case-by-case basis.
Electronic cameras are as yet unable to pick up drivers who flout the law, although laser cameras have been developed which can spot drivers using a hand-held device from up to half a mile away.
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