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Published on Thursday 01 March 2018 in Van News


UK motorists remain undeterred by fines for using mobile phones at the wheel...

We all know that using a mobile phone while driving is REALLY dangerous, so why are so many people still doing it? Is the risk of getting a £200 fine and 6 driving licence points not enough to put everyone off altogether? Vanarama's Laura Day takes a closer look.

Police issued 30,470 fixed-penalty notices for drivers using a mobile phone behind the wheel in 2017, compared to 49,694 in 2016. But, despite the reduction in the number of penalties issued in the UK, it appears we still have a big problem on our hands – relaxed views on the matter still need to change.


Keeping a score

A survey that was conducted by Confused.com revealed some shocking statistics…

  • 40% of drivers admit to reading text messages behind the wheel
  • 35% owned up to taking phone calls on the road
  • 7% said they checked social media when driving
  • 84% said they had witnessed other drivers using a phone behind the wheel

The simple truth of the matter is that despite the reduction in the number of people getting caught, the problem of illegal handheld phone use at the wheel is still apparent in people's attitudes.


Paying the price

The UK has the highest amount for fines in Europe, totalling at £200 plus 6 driving licence points for the offence. While it seems this can be accountable for a decrease in penalties in 2017, it looks like it's going to take a lot more than a fine to stop people using their mobile devices while driving, once and for all.

A survey conducted by IAM RoadSmart revealed that 90% felt the dangers caused by people accessing social media or email messages while driving, was an even bigger threat than drink-driving at the moment.

IAM RoadSmart's CEO Sarah Sillars said: "Motorists need to make the connection that using a hand-held phone is a major distraction to the task of driving. There is no such thing as multi-tasking when it comes to driving – when you drive, there is nothing else you should be doing."

Sarah goes on to add, "What we want to see is a combination of effective penalties, more personal and corporate responsibility and vehicle, smartphone and social media companies working together to generate hi-tech solutions to the distractions caused by their technology."

Sounds like good advice to me, but what do you think? Is mobile phone use while driving becoming an epidemic on the UK roads? Should the fines be increased further in order to stop dialling and driving once and for all? Let us know in the comments below. And, if you liked this article, why not check out if your area is the worst region for potholes?

Alternatively, if you have any questions about leasing or finance, don't hesitate to call us on 01442 838195. We are always happy to answer your queries.