Mo­bile phone SHOCKER

NINE MIL­LION peo­ple are still driv­ing on UK roads while us­ing their hand­held phones.

Motorcycle Monthly - - Front Page -

It’s a sober­ing dis­cov­ery that will strike a cold note with ev­ery mo­tor­cy­clist in the UK but an RAC sur­vey has foun d that a gob­s­mack­ing 22% of mo­torists are still us­ing their hand­held phone when they drive.

The shame­ful find­ings are made all the worse by the rea­sons given by some of those sur­veyed, rang­ing from ‘I didn’t know it was il­le­gal’ to ‘I do it be­cause I can get away with it’. The re­port high­lights the law­less­ness on Bri­tish roads in light of huge cuts to the num­bers of traf­fic po­lice over the past decade.

24% of mo­torists do not ex­pect to be caught if they break mo­tor­ing laws

A hard-core of mo­torists still ad­mit to flout­ing the law by us­ing their hand­held phones while driv­ing.

The news comes de­spite penal­ties for the of­fence be­ing dou­bled on March 1, RAC re­search has found.

In Septem­ber 2016 the RAC re­vealed that the il­le­gal use of hand­held mo­bile phones at the wheel had reached epi­demic pro­por­tions. Days later the Gov­ern­ment an­nounced the penalty for the of­fence would in­crease to six points and a £200 fine in a bid to stamp out the dan­ger­ous habit.

Twelve months on, how­ever, re­search car­ried out with 1727 mo­torists for the RAC’s Re­port on Mo­tor­ing 2017 shows the move has not stopped a per­sis­tent 9.2 mil­lion driv­ers break­ing the law on a reg­u­lar ba­sis.

While the num­ber of mo­torists who say they make or re­ceive calls il­le­gally at the wheel has fallen by a quar­ter (31% in 2016 ver­sus 23% in 2017), of those ques­tioned about the im­pact of tougher penal­ties 15% – or 5.3 mil­lion driv­ers – said this had not made them stop. Of these, 2.8 mil­lion said they had not changed their habits and 2.5 mil­lion who said it had made no dif­fer­ence.

Of the 89% of driv­ers who said they were aware of the tougher penal­ties for mo­bile phone use, the re­port iden­ti­fied six in 10 (58%) – or the equiv­a­lent of 20.6 mil­lion driv­ers – who said they had never used their hand­held mo­bile phone when driv­ing. Six­teen per cent – or 5.7 mil­lion driv­ers – said they had com­pletely stopped us­ing their hand­held phone al­to­gether when driv­ing since the law change.

A fur­ther 11% – 3.9 mil­lion driv­ers – said they had curbed their il­le­gal be­hav­iour ‘a lit­tle’ but these oc­ca­sional ‘il­le­gal hand­held phone use’ driv­ers have not bro­ken their habit for good. It should be pointed out that this does not in­clude the 11% – 4.4 mil­lion of all UK driv­ers – who stated they were not aware of the law change so the fig­ures for il­le­gal phone use could in fact be higher. RAC road safety spokesman Pete Wil­liams said: “Twelve months ago our re­search re­vealed that the il­le­gal use of hand­held mo­bile phones by driv­ers was at epi­demic pro­por­tions – a year on and the sit­u­a­tion re­mains dire. De­spite the law change and some high pro­file po­lice en­force­ment cam­paigns we are in a sit­u­a­tion where over­all roads polic­ing of­fi­cer num­bers are down on 2016 by a mas­sive 30% since 2007.

“It is clear we have a hard core of of­fend­ers who be­lieve they can get away with it by con­tin­u­ing to flout the law ev­ery day and we fear this may get worse with fewer ded­i­cated roads polic­ing of­fi­cers.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.