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- Department for Transport research suggests that 80% of car drivers own or have access to a mobile phone.
- 58% of drivers admit that mobile phones are the biggest distraction while driving – more than time pressures, eating, drinking or using the stereo or changing music (Independent research, Taylor Nelson Sofres, April 2002).
- Over a quarter of people admit to answering or making a work-related call or texting while driving (Independent research, TNS).
- Young people are most at risk – 16 to 34 year olds are twice as likely than the over 55s to keep their mobile on while driving (Independent research, TNS).
- If you drive and use a mobile phone you are four times more likely to have an accident – Redelmeir and Tibshirani, 1997 Canada, examined phone bills of 699 drivers involved in accidents immediately prior to accident.
Driving for Work
- Two thirds of drivers who use their car for work purposes feel pressure to keep their phone switched on (Independent research, TNS).
- 34% of people who use their car for work purposes admit to answering or making a work related call or texting while driving (Independent research, TNS).
UK Legislation (at 1 March 2007)
- New UK legislation to increase the penalty for using a hand-held phone whilst driving came into force at the end of last month. The new fine is £60 and three penalty points on your licence. Penalty points can mean higher insurance costs, which are already expensive for new drivers. Also, if you get six penalty points within two years of passing your driving test, your licence will be revoked and you will need to re-sit the test.
Tips for Drivers
Even the most careful of drivers will be distracted by a phone call or text message – it affects concentration and anticipation. Here are some tips for drivers:
- If you are driving, keep the phone switched off, use your voicemail or message service.
- If you must use your phone, stop in a safe place, not on a motorway hardshoulder.
- Do not use a hands-free – your mind will not be fully on driving but on the conversation.
Scotland is to reduce its drink-driving limit before Christmas. The reduction from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood means that it moves into line with Northern Ireland and most of Europe. The limit in England and Wales will remain at 80mg.
From 5 December 2014, Scottish traffic police will be able to breathalyse drivers at the reduced limit as the force launches its annual, festive crackdown on drink-driving.