Reports made by the government’s National Travel Attitudes Study (NTAS) has shown how 25% of drivers are still under the impression that using a phone whilst they are in a traffic jam is still okay.
And on the flip side, 75% of drivers think the mobile phone laws are not enforced enough.
Despite campaigns and high profile reported cases, an alarming 6% of drivers claim using a phone behind the wheel is safe, even when the vehicle is moving. I know that doesn’t sound like much but when you equate to 1 in 20 cars on the road then it becomes more unnerving.
Interestingly, 62% believed mobile phone usage, even talking handsfree, was totally unsafe.
Following the report, road safety charity Brake has now called on the government to issue police with greater resources to enforce mobile phone laws.
Brake is making further calls by asking the government to make any phone usage behind the wheel, handsfree or not, to become illegal.
Brake has been very vocal in stating how distracting using a phone behind the wheel is. They have also claimed mobile phones are just as, if not more so, a large factor in the because of road accidents.
Joshua Harris, Brake’s director of campaigns, said the existing rules were giving drivers a “false impression” about phone use.
“Using a phone when behind the wheel can impair you as much as driving drunk so it’s a real concern that one in four people think it’s safe to use their phone when behind the wheel in stationary traffic,” he said. “A car is a lethal weapon and it only takes a moment’s inattention to result in devastating consequences. It’s equally worrying that three-quarters of people feel that the law is not being properly enforced, a situation which may lead some to think they can get away with using their phone behind the wheel.
“Most drivers know that all phone use behind the wheel is dangerous, but we need the law to reflect this by banning the use of hands-free devices. The current law provides a dangerous false impression about the use of phones behind the wheel and must be changed. We also call on the government to invest in roads policing as a priority so that the police have the resources they need to ensure there is a true deterrent to the menace of mobile phone use behind the wheel.”