Government to consider banning hands-free for drivers

Remigio Civitarese
Agosto 14, 2019

According to new reports published today, the United Kingdom government is considering a ban on hands-free phone calls in cars, as hands-free kits have been shown to cause near enough the same distraction as a held device.

Other loopholes should also be closed too, including adding a general "sending or receiving data" clause to outlaw the occasional screen check that's not now covered under today's laws that only technically outlaw using a phone as a phone, plus tougher penalties should be brought in to make charges for those caught "commensurate with the risk created", seeing as the potential for killing someone is there when side-eying your notifications while bored on one of our many national roads' tedium black spots.

The use of a hand-held mobile phone is banned, with drivers facing a maximum punishment of six penalty points and a £200 fine.

Throughout the United Kingdom in 2017, 773 casualties, including 43 deaths and 135 serious injuries, were caused by collisions in which a driver using a mobile phone was a contributory factor.

Alongside the possible new ban, MPs have called for more severe penalties for handheld phone use.

Current laws give the "misleading impression" that hands-free options are safe, they warned.

Mobile phone use is one of Suffolk Constabulary's "Fatal Four" contributors to collisions in which people are killed or seriously injured (KSIs).

However, the Committee said these penalties "still do not appear to be commensurate with the risk created and should be reviewed and potentially increased so that it is clear there are serious consequences to being caught".

Labour MP Lilian Greenwood, who chairs the committee, said "any use of a phone distracts from a driver's ability to pay full attention" to the road. But MPs want this extended to the use of hands-free devices.

In 2018/19 no road collisions causing death or serious injury were attributed to mobile phone use in Suffolk - down from two the previous year.

"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".

The government said that, where legal, drivers must always use phones safely.

"Being distracted by a mobile phone while driving is risky and puts people's lives at risk".

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