Permabond Europe - winner of this year's Fleet News Fleet Risk Management Award - already bans the use of both hand-held and hands-free mobile phones across its fleet and a company driving exercise proved drivers lose concentration when they are on the phone. The report by the Independent Expert group on Mobile Phones and Health said: 'Evidence suggests there is little or no justification for the assumption that the detrimental effects of phone use on driving are ameliorated by hands-free operation. There is, therefore, no strong justification for the enactment of a policy or legislation that differentiates between the use of hand-held and hands-free phone sets in motor vehicles.'
Consequently the report, commissioned by the Government and chaired by former Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Sir William Stewart, said drivers should be dissuaded from using mobile phones on the move. Responding to the report, Minister for Public Health Yvette Cooper said: 'The Government agrees with the Stewart Group's view that the use of mobile phones while driving can increase the risk of an accident and that drivers should be dissuaded from using either hand-held or hands-free phones while on the move.'