71% say mobile law not being properly enforced

71% say mobile law not being properly enforced
Fewer people are attune to the dangers of mobile use while driving than eight years ago, a cause for “genuine concern” according to the RAC.

New Department for Transport (DfT) figures suggest only 50% of Britons think all use of mobiles behind the wheel – including hands-free – is dangerous, with 28% agreeing and 22% strongly agreeing.

Furthermore, an overwhelming 71% of drivers don’t believe the law on handheld mobile use is being properly enforced.

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The DfT’s British social attitudes survey: 2016 uncovered that the overall number of people who think all mobile use is dangerous for drivers has dipped from the 61% recorded in 2009.

These results follow the shocking findings from RAC research last month which suggest even the thought of causing an accident wouldn’t be enough to make 40% of drivers put their mobiles away for good.

The RAC says it is time for both persistent and occasional offenders to make a personal pledge to stop, and to share it with friends and family.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “The law is clear, and the penalties for disobeying it are now stronger for very good reason – a pinging, buzzing smartphone represents one of the biggest modern day distractions in a moving vehicle.

“Government and industry must not let up in their efforts to explain the risks of dangerous mobile phone use to UK motorists.”

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The issue of how effectively the law is being implemented has been a topic of much contention since penalties for phone usage were doubled back in March.

Figures obtained by the Press Association show over 200 drivers a day were caught using their mobile phones illegally in the four weeks after the changes took effect, equivalent to one every seven minutes.

Mr Williams said: “Drivers have consistently stated that the law on handheld mobile phone use at the wheel has not been effectively enforced and they do not believe there are enough traffic officers on our roads.

“Drivers should be aware that police are now targeting handheld mobile phone use and deploying a range of tactics to catch offenders in the act from motorcycle cops to double-decker snipers.”

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.