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RAC comment on DfT attitude survey on transport and mobile phone use at the wheel

News   •   Aug 29, 2017 14:28 BST

The Department for Transport has today published a report on public attitudes towards transport which highlights that 71% of drivers feel that the law on using a handheld mobile phone is not enforced properly.

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.

“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. In fact the number of dedicated roads policing officers has declined by almost a third in ten years so we now have just 2,643 in England and Wales. However, with the doubling of the fine and points from 1st March catching offenders using a handheld phone whilst driving has become a priority for many police forces.

“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.

“It really is time for both persistent and occasional offenders to think again about using a handheld phone at the wheel and we would urge everyone to make a personal pledge to stop at and to share it with friends and family.”