A third of motorists admit to using phone behind the wheel

A third of motorists are still using their phones behind the wheel.

Are you guilty of using your mobile phone while driving?

According to new research by Direct Line, almost a third (29%) of British motorists admit to using their mobile phones behind the wheel.

But, worryingly, only 13,000 of these drivers are convicted for the offence each year.

Every three seconds

A recent survey of 2,000 drivers found that more than a quarter had used their phones for calls, messaging or checking social updates behind the wheel in the last 12 months.

This is equivalent to 11 million offending motorists in the entire driving population, with a driver picking up their phone every three seconds on British roads.

Steve Barrett, Head of Motor Insurance at Direct Line, said it’s time that using phones while driving was considered as socially unacceptable as drink driving.

“It only takes a second with eyes off the road, or being distracted by a mobile phone, for a life altering accident to happen or for a driver to find themselves facing prosecution and a criminal record,” he said.

“With new technology available to the police that uses sensors to detect if a driver is using their phone, people are at greater risk of prosecution for these offences than ever before.”

£2 million in fines

Every year, mobile phone offences cost British drivers £2 million in fines, despite only 0.1% of offending motorists being prosecuted.

Current laws, introduced in March 2017, mean motorists caught using their phone while driving face receiving six penalty points on their license as well as a £200 fine.

A new blanket ban on the use of handheld devices behind the wheel is due to be imposed next year, with cameras designed to catch drivers using their phones at the wheel making it harder than ever for motorists to get away with using their devices on the road.

Read more about the new blanket ban on in-car mobile phone use, so you’re prepared for changes in the law.

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