3% think mobile phone use is safe for drivers

3% think mobile phone use is safe for drivers

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The RAC is urging “creative thinking” in the battle against hand-held phone use at the wheel – after research showed a worrying number of drivers still aren’t getting the message.

Some 70% of respondents said they are firmly against the practice – a 14% increase on 10 years ago – when asked as part of the annual British Social Attitudes Survey (BSAS).

But with 3% going out of their way to “agree strongly” that using a phone while driving is safe, the figures suggest much more needs to be done to change attitudes.

READ MORE: Hard core of millions continue to ignore mobile law

The latest report, which uncovers attitudes in 2017, suggests there remains strong public feeling about drivers illegally using their mobiles at the wheel.

Despite tougher penalties introduced in March last year, the RAC is concerned that a large group of motorists feel forever above the law.

Road safety spokesman Pete Williams says: “We fear there is a proportion of drivers who simply feel the law will never catch up with them - or that continuing to use a hand-held phone while also trying to do something as demanding as driving is in some way 'safe', when all the evidence shows otherwise.

“Given just how difficult it can be for police forces to enforce the hand-held mobile phone law, especially with limited resources, it is time for some creative thinking on tackling the problem.

“The Government should be looking at how new technologies could aid enforcement, backed by some strong national and local publicity campaigns.”

The 70% who “disagree strongly” that it’s safe to use a hand-held phone is the highest since current records began, and represents a 3% rise on 2016.

Separate DfT figures show 780 people were injured in accidents in 2016 when a driver was distracted or impaired by their phone.

TAKE THE PLEDGE: RAC Be Phone Smart campaign

Elsewhere in the BSAS, it appears scepticism towards speed cameras is on the decline.

For the first time in 13 years, more people disagree (30%) than agree (29%) that there are too many speed cameras on our roads.

Meanwhile the proportion of Britons who believe they exist “mostly to make money” has fallen to 42%, compared with 48% the previous year and 56% in 2010.

A total of 2,963 people were questioned for the BSAS.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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