New research by BCA has revealed 95% of motorists have witnessed other drivers using a handheld mobile within the last month.
Nearly 90% of motorists who responded to the BCA survey said the use of a handheld mobile device while driving was ‘very distracting’, with 95% claiming to have personally witnessed another motorist doing so in the previous month.
Over half (52%) of those surveyed believed that penalties for using a handheld mobile device should be more severe, despite nearly a third (30%) not knowing what the current penalty is. Eighteen percent believed a conviction would lead to a £1,000 fine, whereas the current tariff is an automatic 3 points and £100 fine.
However, the BCA data also reveals that there appears to be a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’, with 42% of motorists admitting to having spoken on a handheld mobile device themselves while driving. Over a quarter (27%) admitted to texting while behind the wheel; 13% have taken a photo and 6% admitted to accessing social media whilst driving.
“The interesting thing about this study is that, whilst almost everybody was happy to vent their indignation at other drivers’ carelessness, a large number also owned-up to the very things that concerned them”, explained Tim Naylor, editor of the BCA Used Car Market Report.
Motorists responding to the BCA survey were also concerned about other driving distractions including personal grooming (74%), reaching for objects (58%) and smoking (40%). Transporting a pet was considered somewhat distracting by over half (53%).
“It is clear from our research that there is a groundswell of support for stronger penalties for using a hand-held mobile while driving – whether talking, texting or accessing social media,” concluded Naylor.
"This is alongside other worries about careless day-to-day driving behaviour.”