News from Brake
Friday 1 November 2019
The Transport Committee has today published the Government’s response to their inquiry on ‘road safety: driving while using a mobile phone’.
The Government has stated that they will work to review the offence of driving while using a hand-held mobile device. This is in response to the Committee’s recommendation that the law be clarified to cover all hand-held usage, irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data.
The Government has not accepted the committee’s recommendation to extend the ban on driving while using a hand-held mobile phone to include hands-free devices.
Road safety charity, Brake has welcomed the Government’s move to review the offence of driving while using a hand-held mobile device to close potential loopholes, but still want to see the dangers of hands-free devices addressed.
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “We welcome the Government’s move to review the law on using hand-held mobile devices while driving and close loopholes which treat sending or receiving data differently, allowing drivers acting dangerously to escape prosecution.
“The Committee’s report was clear on the dangers of hands-free devices and it is troubling that they will not be banned despite the Government’s acknowledgement of the risk. The current law provides a dangerous false impression that it is safe to use a mobile phone with a hands-free kit when driving - it is not. All phone use behind the wheel is dangerous and to get this message across to drivers the law must reflect this.
“Far too many people still use their phone behind the wheel, yet it should be as unacceptable as drink driving, with research showing that reaction times whilst texting are double those of drink-drivers. We will continue to press the future new Government for further action to tackle the menace of mobile phone use behind the wheel.”