Mobile menace on the increase
By: Dave Robbins
29 July 2014
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Using a mobile phone whilst driving will soon be the biggest cause of fatal accidents on UK roads. That’s what a number of commentators are saying following the release of new figures from the Department for Transport (DfT).
According to the figures, which cover 2012, there were 378 accidents recorded that specifically involved the use of a mobile phone – a record number. Those accidents resulted in 17 deaths. However, the situation could actually be a lot worse. That’s because the cause of many accidents is often recorded as ‘in-vehicle distraction’, which could include the use of a mobile. Between 2010 and 2012 there were 9,000 ‘in-vehicle distraction’ accidents recorded resulting in 196 deaths. Combine the figures and it’s only 27 less than were caused by drink driving.
Despite all the campaigns the number of drivers being prosecuted for mobile phone use whilst driving continues to grow; doubling between 2009 and 2012. The latest figure is 583,686, mainly drivers in the 18-25 age bracket who received a £60 fine and three penalty points on their licence.
Whilst unlikely to happen in the current parliament there are increasing calls to toughen penalties on mobile phone use whilst driving. These figures can only add further fuel to the fire.