Illegal, annoying and dangerous – but we do it anyway!

Posted by AndrewT on 24th Feb 2014

According to research conducted for Halfords, 32% of motorists admit to making or receiving a call on a hand-held phone whilst driving. This is despite the fact that 82% knew it was illegal.  78% had spotted another driver using a hand-held mobile in the past month and 60% classed the practice as dangerous. Using a mobile phone was reported as the third most disliked bad habit after drink driving and tailgating. So we know it is illegal, annoying and dangerous but we do it anyway! With email, social media and other aps available on your smartphone the temptation to use it will intensify. 50% of the drivers who admitted illegal use of a hand-held phone said they had checked text messages, a third emails and one in eight had logged on to social network sites. Driving any vehicle requires your full attention and attempting to read text messages, emails or social network updates whilst driving is extremely dangerous. Increasing fixed penalty fines for the offence last September from £60 to £100 appears to have had little impact. Figures from the Police and Department of Justice reveal that more than 120,000 drivers have been handed fixed penalty notices or prosecuted in court over the past 12 months. This may be a drop in the ocean if you believe the figures reported in the research conducted for Halfords. So what is to be done? Regardless of the rules and potential penalties for breaking them, policing is critical to changing behaviour. If drivers don’t think they will get caught I suspect some will just carry on.