MET Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has backed a two strikes and you’re out approach to using a phone at the wheel of the car.
With new figures just released stating that one million motorists have now been caught and handed the current three point and £60 fine, the commissioner believes that a six point deterrent would be more effective.
An ICM poll on behalf of insurance firm LV found that 18 per cent of drivers find it acceptable to use mobiles at the wheel, despite the legality of doing so. Further to that, some 14 per cent admitted to checking social networking sites on mobiles while in charge of a car.
In the capital alone, over 200,000 have been caught using mobiles at the wheel in nine years.
Managing director of LV, John O’Roarke said: “It’s been nearly ten years. It’s worrying that many drivers are still using devices at the wheel.”
Phone companies called on to implement anti-text while driving technology
In related news, in Road Safety Week, British firm Telsis has teamed up with road safety charity Brake to launch its simple system for cutting incidents of texting behind the wheel.
According to Telsis and Brake, texting and talking while driving claimed 23 lives and caused 74 serious
injuries in the UK in 2011. Telsis DriveSafe automatically lets callers and texters know someone is driving and will respond later when they can do so legally and safely.
The clever system works for all mobile phones, no matter what make, type or age, even if they are out of coverage or turned off. The system is already in use in New Zealand in an earlier text-only version where it has been praised by the government and a leading motoring organisation.
Brake general manager Sarah Fatica said: “People who text at the wheel are taking enormous risks with their own and other people’s lives. This kind of irresponsible behaviour is illegal and it kills so there should be no excuses.”
“We would like to see UK mobile networks playing their part and looking seriously at technologies that could lessen the temptation so many of their customers feel to talk and text while driving. We are delighted to be working alongside Telsis to raise awareness about the dangers of talking and texting at the wheel, helping to reduce the number of people tragically killed and seriously injured on UK roads every year.”
Statistics from the Virginia Research Tech Transport Institute indicate that texting drivers are 23 times more likely to cause an accident.