Government to consider banning hands-free for drivers

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Drivers in England and Wales could be banned from using hands-free devices after research showed that it is no safer than using a hand-held phone.

The Commons Select Committee has said that the Government should consider extending the law on using a mobile phone while driving and has called for a public consultation on the issue by the end of 2019.

The Committee also recommended increasing the penalty for using a hand-held device and wants the police to do more to enforce the law.

“Despite the real risk of catastrophic consequences for themselves, their passengers and other road users, far too many drivers continue to break the law by using hand-held mobile phones,” said Chair of the Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP.

“If mobile phone use while driving is to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving much more effort needs to go into educating drivers about the risks and consequences of using a phone behind the wheel. Offenders also need to know there is a credible risk of being caught, and that there are serious consequences for being caught.

“There is also a misleading impression that hands-free use is safe. The reality is that any use of a phone distracts from a driver’s ability to pay full attention and the Government should consider extending the ban to reflect this.

“Each death and serious injury which results from a driver using a mobile phone is a tragedy that is entirely avoidable. We need tougher restrictions, better enforcement and more education to make our roads safer for all.”

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