The dangerous habit of using a mobile phone while driving is escalating according to the latest report by a well known insurance provider, and it is the younger generation who are mainly at fault.
According to the report a motorist is fined every three minutes in the UK for using a mobile phone whilst behind the wheel of a car. A massive 173,000 fixed penalty notices were issued by the 43 police forces in the UK last year for that one particular offence. And according to some researchers this is just the tip of the iceberg. A recent survey of drivers suggests that over 7 million motorists have used a hand held phone while driving in the last 7 months. If that is true the 173,000 who were caught are just a drop in the ocean.
It is proving a frustrating problem for the Government to solve. There is certainly a wide perception that talking on the phone is dangerous while driving but the threat of points on your licence, a fine and an increased motor insurance policy are not severe enough deterrents to dissuade young drivers in particular from using their mobile phones. Many young drivers even admit to texting and surfing the internet on smart phones while driving. The offence does not yet carry the abhorrence of the public in a way that drink driving does.
A spokesman for fuel card news who reported the survey said: “We would like to remind motorists that it is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while behind the wheel, and that employers can be prosecuted for asking employees to take calls while driving. Make sure you use a hands-free set when in your vehicle and only take calls when it’s necessary.”