The amount of drivers who still use their mobile phone while driving has increased by 8% since 2014, undermining the effects of new enforcement against law-breakers.
The Daily Telegraph was told by the Department for Transport that, over the past 2 years, the amount of car drivers who use mobile phones has risen from 23 per cent to 31 per cent, while for van and lorry drivers the figures has gone up by 2.6 per cent. The number of road users who use the internet or send a text while driving has also increased to 19%.
Neil Grieg, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) director of policy and research told the newspaper that the advice about using hand-held phones while driving was being ignored by motorists: “Along with consistent and high-profile policing, drivers need to be educated about how and why driving on the phone is so dangerous.
“Deaths and injuries linked to mobile phone use wreck lives and are completely avoidable. The majority of road users deserve to be protected from an irresponsible and selfish minority,” he continued.
Mr Grieg said that the police needed to invest more resources in monitoring drivers who use their mobiles and enforcing the law.
Another motorist organisation, The RAC Foundation, has called for more enforcement, with Foundation director, Stephen Glaister explaining that the figures were very worrying, particularly as reaction times slow by almost a half when using a mobile, making driving extremely dangerous.
“This is even worse than texting while driving – which is bad enough in itself – which reduces reactions by a third. It seems a small but growing minority of drivers choose to flout the law,” he said.
“Police must be given the resources to tackle this menace and drivers persuaded that what they are doing is potentially lethal,” he concluded.