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13 Aug 2019

Could A Hands-Free Mobile Ban For Drivers Be On Its Way?

Could A Hands-Free Mobile Ban For Drivers Be On Its Way?
Hands Free, Mobile Phone, Road Safety

MPs in England and Wales have suggested that drivers be banned from using hands-free mobile phones.

The Commons Transport Select Committee believe current laws present hands-free options as safe, when in fact they pose “the same risk of a collision” as using a hand-held mobile phone behind the wheel.

Hand-held devices are already banned and have recently been a focus of a road safety crackdown. In result, punishments have been made more severe with a maximum six penalty points and a £200 fine issued to offenders – up from three penalty points and a £100 fine.

The committee has been provided expert guidance that suggests hands-free driving creates “essentially the same” distraction to being behind the wheel at the alcohol blood limit.

Labour MP Lilian Greenwood chairs the committee and said the following: "If mobile phone use while driving is to become as socially unacceptable as drink-driving, much more effort needs to go into educating drivers about the risks and consequences of using a phone behind the wheel.

"Offenders also need to know there is a credible risk of being caught, and that there are serious consequences for being caught.

"There is also a misleading impression that hands-free use is safe. The reality is that any use of a phone distracts from a driver's ability to pay full attention and the government should consider extending the ban to reflect this."

A report detailing the Committee’s findings and recommendations is scheduled to be released before the end of 2019.

Hundreds of road traffic accidents in 2017 involved mobile phones, resulting in 43 deaths and 135 serious injuries.

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