Fleet News

Fleet drivers ignore mobile phone ban

The majority of company car drivers still use a mobile phone while on the move – with a proportion of those refusing to use a hands-free kit, a study has found.

More than 70% of company motorists use their phones behind the wheel with a percentage of those continuing to break the law by using hand-held units, three months after laws governing their use were extended in the Road Safety Act.

The findings are produced as part of a forecourt survey carried out by fleet and fuel management company, Arval.

It questioned more than 730 business drivers at forecourts across the country

Mike Waters, head of market analysis for Arval, said: “The results of the survey should act as a red flag for fleets. Clearly this is still a problem for fleet managers as drivers continue to ignore the safety messages linked to mobile phones while driving and to rack up penalty points and fines for hand-held mobile phone use.

“It is important to establish why drivers are continuing to use their phones behind the wheel, when they may be breaking the law and risk hefty penalties. Are drivers simply ignoring the law or are companies continuing to put pressure on staff to answer the phone while behind the wheel?”

The study found that 30% of drivers no longer use their mobile while driving, even hands-free.

Mr Waters added: “Companies must realise that the driver is not solely accountable for using a mobile phone. If a business call to a driver is found to result in an accident, the company could be held legally responsible.

“Best practice for a company is to encourage drivers to take breaks, when they make calls and listen to messages.”

The penalty for drivers deemed not to be in control of their vehicle through the use of a mobile phone is three penalty points and a £60 fine.

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