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500,000 drivers continue to ignore mobile phone warnings

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More than half a million motorists still use their mobile at the wheel each day, according to alarming new research.

The continuing number of people breaking the law is in spite of a number of high-profile campaigns attempting to raise awareness of the dangers.

The study found that drivers under 30 are most likely to use a mobile while driving – around one in 20 in this age group is committing the offence.

Professor Stephen Glaister, who is director of the RAC Foundation, was concerned by the latest research.

“In 2013 the use of a mobile at the wheel was a factor in 22 fatal accidents and this is likely to be underreporting of the true figure.

“Texting whilst driving impairs reactions more than being at the drink-drive limit.”

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced motorists (IAM), believed that part of the problem was that many drivers didn’t think they would get caught.

“’Mobile phone usage at the wheel can kill – there’s no two ways about it,” he said.

“People must have the fear of being caught increased as we believe this is the only viable deterrent, but that needs an increase in visible policing.

“The horrendous figures for van users [statistically more likely to use a phone at the wheel] show that fleets and companies must have clear and consistent mobile phone policies that are enforced.”

Around 1.6 per cent of Britain’s 36 million drivers were spotted using a handheld phone at the wheel last year. This was up on 1.4 per cent caught out during an almost identical exercise in 2009.

For those drivers who are facing accusations of using a mobile phone while driving or allowing its use by someone else, then the specialist road traffic team at Lester Morrill can advise you on your options and provide expert representation. For more about the services we provide, contact our Leeds-based solicitors today.