The Government should consider tougher restrictions on driving while using a mobile phone and stricter enforcement of the law, according to a group of MPs.
According to the Transport Committee, “the evidence is clear that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous with potentially catastrophic consequences.”
The group of MPs said the Government should overhaul current laws on using hand-held mobile devices while driving to cover use irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data, while the committee said it also recommends that the Government “explores options for extending the ban on hand-held devices to hands-free phones.”
The TSC added the penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving were increased in 2017 “but 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.”
“Despite the real risk of catastrophic consequences for themselves, their passengers and other road users, far too many drivers continue to break the law by using hand-held mobile phones. 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,” said Lilian Greenwood, the Transport Select Committee chair. “There is also a misleading impression that hands-free use is safe. The reality is that any use of a phone distracts from a driver’s ability to pay full attention and the Government should consider extending the ban to reflect this. “Each death and serious injury which results from a driver using a mobile phone is a tragedy that is entirely avoidable. We need tougher restrictions, better enforcement and more education to make our roads safer for all.”