Brake comments on week-long police crackdown on phone use whilst driving

News from Brake
Monday, 22 January 2018
Starting on Monday 22 January, police forces across England and Wales are engaged in a week-long national operation, cracking down on drivers using their phones behind the wheel.
Commenting on the news, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Phone use behind the wheel is an increasing menace on our roads, nearly halving reaction times and posing a serious threat to lives of other road users [1]. No call or message is worth a life and Brake is calling upon all drivers to put their phones away in the glovebox, out of reach.
“This week’s crackdown on mobile phone use whilst driving is to be welcomed. Drivers should have the expectation that if they use a phone behind the wheel, they will be caught. However, this can only be delivered through a more concerted and long-term police enforcement effort.
“Shockingly, research has shown that hands-free calls cause almost the same level of risk whilst driving as hand-held - last year a driver using a hands-free device was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving [2]. Brake urges government to regulate against hands-free phone use at the wheel, ridding our roads of the menace of distracted driving.”
Notes to editors:
[1] Conversations in cars: the relative hazards of mobile phones, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL)
Brake’s campaign page ‘Phone Smart’ can be found here and further information on driver distraction here.
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Tags: mobile phone enforcement police Phone Smart distraction