Fleet News

Bill seeks ban on mobiles while driving

A NEW Bill before the House of Lords is attempting to ban the use of mobile phones while driving. Labour peer Lord Davies of Oldham, chairman of the Further Eduction Funding Council and deputy president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, has introduced the Bill which would make it an offence to drive while using a hand-held mobile telephone.

The society says drivers using mobile phones have been implicated in at least six deaths on Britain's roads and claims that using a phone, whether hand-held or hands-free, increases the likelihood of a driver having an accident.

The new Highway Code says drivers should 'Never use a hand-held mobile phone or microphone when driving. Using hands-free equipment is also likely to distract your attention from the road. It is far safer not to use any telephone while you are driving — find a safe place to stop first.' Failure to obey the code is not, however, a criminal offence although it may lead to prosecution under the Traffic or Transport Acts.

John Howard, RoSPA's director of safety policy, said: 'Police have a variety of offences to take action against mobile phone users, but a specific offence would mean there would be no excuse for a driver seen using a mobile phone at the wheel.'

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