Fleet News

Wait on phone ban

FLEET decision-makers are waiting to hear if the Government will move to ban the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving after an in-depth consultation on the proposals ended this week.

Department for Transport (DfT)executives are now sifting through submissions from a range of companies and organisations on the proposals, which gauged support for the measures, which would could even make it illegal to use a hand-held phone with the car's engine switched on.

A DfT consultation document, called Mobile Phones and Driving – proposal for an offence of using a hand-held mobile phone when driving' produced earlier this year suggests a £30 on-the-spot fine for drivers caught making a call.

Some sources say the fine could be as much as £200 but no final decision will be made until next month. Any new law is likely to be introduced early next year.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said it wants a complete ban on drivers using phones behind the wheel.

In its submission to the DfT, RoSPA said: 'Vast numbers of drivers in Britain now routinely use a mobile while driving, despite the risks. National and local education campaigns are not persuading drivers to desist from using their phones while driving.

'The scale of the problem requires a specific offence to make it crystal clear to motorists that they should not use a mobile phone while driving.'

And IAM Fleet managing director Christopher Bullock said: 'The problem needs better education and more enforcement: in our view, proposed new legislation along will not solve the problem.'

Transport Minister David Jamieson earlier warned companies that they would be liable to prosecution if they 'cause or permit' the use of a mobile phone by a driver, under the new rules.

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