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Motorists continue to use mobile phones behind the wheelBack

Despite the increase in fines, motorists continue to use their mobile phones at the wheel.

Figures released this week by a leading insurance company have revealed that drivers are failing to stop using hand-held mobile phones whilst driving, causing danger to themselves, other motorists and also pedestrians.

Statistics reveal that the number of offenders is even higher than 2006, the year before harsher penalties were initially introduced.

In 2010/11, a total of 171,000 fixed penalty notices (FPN) for mobile phone offences were handed out according to Freedom of Information requests made to England and Wales police forces by insurance company swiftcover.com.

Although 43 of the forces have yet to respond, currently the 2010/11 figure is higher than the 166,800 figure recorded in 2006, the year before the fine was doubled from £30 to £60, with the threat of points being put on the driving licences of offending motorists.

The latest total is also more than double the figure of 74,000 which was recorded in 2004 – as more and more people now use their mobile phones as their primary or sole method of telecommunication, mobile phone usage is becoming more of a hazard every year.

According to Swiftcover, Thames Valley Police have seen a significant FPN increase of 21 per cent in 2010/11 compared with 2009/10, with significant increases reported in Hampshire and Yorkshire in particular.

A shocking statistic also revealed that in 2010/11, 56 drivers in London alone were actually fined for using their mobile phones whilst supervising learner drivers on the roads.

Research also cites that 5 per cent of drivers admitted to accessing social networking websites whilst driving within the past year, a figure that rose to 12 per cent amongst 18-34 year old drivers.
Robin Reames, chief claims officer at swiftcover.com, said: ”It’s clear that current measures to stop motorists using their phones while driving simply aren’t working.

”An irresponsible but substantial minority of motorists are continuing to flout laws and endanger others, all for the sake of a phone call that could be taken at another time.”

 

 

Posted by Leana Kell on 13/12/2011