Call to ban hands-free mobiles

Research shows teenage motorists are taking the same risks as drink-drivers when using hands-free mobile phones behind the wheel.

According to studies by the Transport Research Laboratory, 24% of UK drivers use hand-held and hands-free mobile phones, which makes their reaction times 30% slower than those who have been drinking and 50% slower than sober drivers.

Previous research at the University of Utah also found using hands-free phones and drinking at the UK limit produced a significant reduction in reaction times, while figures from the University of Sydney suggest drivers using hands-free phones are four times more likely to crash than other drivers.

As a result, the Government is being urged to amend laws to make using hands-free phones for drivers aged under 20 illegal.

A spokesman for said: "There is a growing body of research that indicates that drinking alcohol and using a hands-free mobile phone carry similar levels of risk.

"Extending the drink-driving laws to cover all mobile phone usage for younger drivers will help us to reduce this risk."

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