Hand-free calls while driving should be banned, MPs say
The Transport Committee recommends that government explores options for extending the ban on hand-held devices to hands-free phones, as evidence shows that using a hands-free device creates the same risks of crashing.
In the report Road Safety: driving while using a mobile phone, the Transport Committee says the evidence is clear that using a mobile phone while driving is dangerous, with potentially catastrophic consequences.
MPs call on Government to overhaul current laws on using hand-held mobile devices while driving, to cover use irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data.
In 2017, there were 773 casualties, including 43 deaths and 135 serious injuries, in collisions where a driver using a mobile phone was a contributory factor. The number of people killed or seriously injured has risen steadily since 2011.
However, the rate of enforcement has plunged by more than two thirds since 2011. Enforcing the law is essential to ensuring that motorists do not illegally use their mobile phone while driving. While the Committee welcomes the Government’s review of roads policing and traffic enforcement, the report calls on the Government to work with police to boost enforcement and make better use of technology.
The penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving were increased in 2017 but still do not appear to be commensurate with the risk created and should be reviewed and potentially increased so that it is clear there are serious consequences to being caught, says the Report.