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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-02-28

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page

 

Brits welcome penalty increase for using a mobile while driving

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NEW legislation doubling penalties for using a mobile phone while driving, due to come into force on March 1, will be welcomed by people in the UK, according to a new poll.

A Twitter poll of 2,149 people in the UK, carried out in February 2017 by National Accident Helpline, showed that 78% were in favour of an increase in penalties, while only 14% were against an increase. The remaining 8% said they weren't sure.

However, in response to the survey, many voiced their concerns that the new penalties were still not high enough. 32% of those polled said the revised penalties, at ₤200 and 6 licence points, ought to be even higher.

Meanwhile, the company's Google Survey of 2,000 drivers in the UK, also conducted in February 2017, revealed that 23% admit to having used a hand held phone while driving in the last 12 months.

The survey revealed that using a phone while driving is still a widespread problem, in spite of recent police crackdowns and campaigning by organisations such as Brake and the RAC.

The National Accident Helpline survey also revealed that people under 35 were 50% more likely to have used a phone while driving (30%), compared to those 35 and over (19%).

The survey asked what people were using their phones for when driving. The most common reason was adjusting a maps app (10% of all respondents), followed by making or receiving a call (9%), texting (8%), browsing social media (5%) and checking or sending a work email (4%).

Respondents aged 18 to 24 were twice as likely to have checked or sent a work email while driving (8%), compared to the average (4%).

Almost 50% more men (27%) than women (19%) admitted to having used a phone while driving. In particular, men were twice as likely to have browsed social media (6%) than women (3%), or to have made or received a call while driving (11%) compared to women (7%).

The group most likely to have used a phone while driving were men aged between 25 and 34, over a of whom (37%) admitted to having used their mobile while driving in the last 12 months. They were 3 times more likely to have done so than women aged 55 to 64, only one in ten of whom (10%) had committed the offence.

It is illegal to use a hand held phone while driving, even when stuck in traffic. Drivers may only use a phone to call 999 or 112 in an emergency if it's unsafe or impractical to stop, or if safely parked.

From March 1 2017, penalties for using a mobile phone while driving will increase from a ₤100 fine to ₤200, and from 3 licence points to 6.

The National Accident Helpline studies were carried out to build on research from their Accident Awareness Week campaign in November, which highlighted the dangers of being distracted while out and about.

According the Accident Awareness Week research, 46% of Brits have put themselves in danger because they've been distracted whilst walking or driving.

The awareness campaign also uncovered the top tech-related reasons for people being distracted, including texting, talking on the phone and using a maps app.

Simon Trott, Managing Director of National Accident Helpline, said:- "Our Accident Awareness Week campaign highlighted just how much we're being distracted by technology when out and about.  With the new legislation about to increase penalties for using a hand held phone while driving, we wanted to highlight how much people in the UK are being distracted by technology while driving.  We know that this is one of the main causes of accidents on the road, and we welcome any change in the law that improves road safety. We hope the increase in penalties will help to deter drivers from being tempted to use their phones at the wheel."

To read more about National Accident Helpline's research on the dangers of being distracted while out and about, visit the Accident Awareness website

For information about road accidents, including the main causes of road accidents and what you should do immediately after an accident happens, visit National Accident Helpline's road accident advice page.

In October 2016, National Accident Helpline commissioned a survey of more than 2,000 people in the UK to learn more about the modern day distractions that can put our safety at risk when out and about.

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Everyday tech dangers driving Brits to distraction....

46% of Brits have put themselves in danger because they've been distracted whilst walking or driving.

25% of 16 to 24 year olds say having a smart phone has made them less careful on the streets.

1 in 8 Brits think they are more easily distracted as an adult than they were as a child.

20% of 16 to 24 year olds say they are more easily distracted.

20% of Brits have walked into someone or something because they were looking at their phone while walking.

25% of Brits said texting and using WhatsApp was the most likely cause of distraction.

49% of 16 to 24 year olds said texting and using WhatsApp was the most likely cause of distraction.

 

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