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Mobile phones are a Fatal Distraction

Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has described using a hand-held mobile phone while in control of a vehicle as a fatal distraction.

The Government also sees illegal mobile phone use as a serious risk and announced last November that anyone caught using a hand-held mobile phone while at the wheel of a car would be fined £200 and receive six points on their licence – a doubling of the existing penalty. These increased penalties came into force on 1st March this year.

The issue was brought into sharp focus last year when lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was jailed for ten years when he killed a family of four in a crash caused by searching for music on his smartphone.

Those surveyed last year by IAM RoadSmart are apparently becoming increasingly concerned by the issue. In the charity’s Driving Safety Culture Survey, over 86% of UK motorists thought distraction caused by mobile phones had become worse in the last three years.

“Addressing the growing problem of smartphone use whilst driving will require a combination of enforcement and education as well as drivers, passengers, companies and individuals taking more responsibility,” commented Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart Director of Policy and Research. 

“IAM RoadSmart is disappointed that the Government did not support our calls for first time offenders to be sent automatically on a re-education course specifically tailored to breaking our apparent addiction to being constantly connected,” he added. “We also want to see car companies, mobile phone makers and social media providers working together to develop technical solutions to hand-held mobile phone use in vehicles.”

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