Since the introduction of the new mobile phone laws in March this year, figures have now shown that the impact has not been as widely spread as first anticipated.
The new rules meant that drivers caught using a phone within two years of passing their test will have their licence revoked in England, Scotland and Wales. Penalties for using a phone at the wheel doubled to six points and a £200 fine would be issued. In addition to the tougher punishments, hard-hitting advertising campaign were created.
Even after this amendment to the rules, recent results have shown that drivers are still choosing to use their phones at the wheel, putting their lives and others around them in danger. Figures below highlight that a lot more needs to be done to combat an issue which kills over 20 per year.
These issues cause a constant headache for fleet managers. New and inventive methods have been thought of to tackle this. One such idea is the ‘Faraday cage’, it uses material such as a wire mesh to shield its contents from electromagnetic fields. Drivers simply place their phones into the compartment to block out all cellular, Bluetooth and wi-fi signals.
However, a wider scale solution needs to be put in place, which has led the Department for Transport to meet handset manufacturers and network providers, with proposals to prevent people from texting and making calls at the wheel as part of a new tougher crackdown.
The study from Kwik Fit found more than a quarter (26%) of drivers use their satnav or GPS on their phone, while almost one in five say they take calls (19%) or read text messages (17%). One in six (16%) make calls without a hands-free set, with around one in eight (12%) sending texts. The research also found that millions of drivers don’t know the rules for using phones. More than two in five (43%) do not know that the penalty for using a hand-held phone when driving is six points under the newly introduced penalties and only 47% are aware that those caught using a hand-held phone in their first two years of driving will lose their licence.