Cars How many people do you see driving on the phone a day? New analysis says 13,000 are convicted for using a handheld device at the wheel a year - an average of just 1.6 an hour
How many people do you see driving on the phone a day? New analysis says 13,000 are convicted for using a handheld device at the wheel a year - an average of just 1.6 an hour
Some 11 million drivers admit to having used their phone while driving, yet fewer than two people are convicted for operating a handheld device at the wheel each hour, new analysis has claimed.Just 13,000 motorists are convicted for using - or causing others to use - a mobile phone when they're at the controls of a car in Britain each year, resulting in combined fines of £2million annually, Direct Line says.
Some 11million drivers admit to having used their phone while driving, yet fewer than two people are convicted for operating a handheld device at the wheel each hour, new analysis claims.
Just 13,000 motorists are convicted for using - or causing others to use - a mobile phone when they're at the controls of a car in Britain each year, resulting in combined fines of £2million annually, Direct Line says.
However, that works out at just 1.6 individuals being prosecuted for illegally using a phone at the wheel every hour - a low figure considering the 'epidemic levels' of drivers using devices at the wheel in the UK.
Van drivers are still using phones behind the wheel
Just four in 10 van drivers are using hands-free tech to make phone calls, with the majority risking six points and a £200 fine.On average, working van drivers make seven phone calls a day, with a total of 37 minutes of call time. But just 41 percent are doing so via Bluetooth or other hands-free tech.
More than a quarter of motorists in the last 12 months have used their phone behind the wheel, be it for calls, messaging or checking updates, according to its survey of 2,000 drivers.
This amounts to nearly 11million individuals, or a motorist using their phone every three seconds on Britain's roads.
Drivers are continuing to take the risk of using their devices despite increased penalties being introduced in 2017, doubling points to six and fines to £200.
And it seems many are getting away with the gamble.
In-car tech impairs drivers more than alcohol
New research has found using car infotainment systems can increase driver reaction times more than consuming alcohol or cannabis.Back-to-back tests were conducted to study driver attentiveness in three scenarios: no interaction, voice controls and full touchscreen use.
With a mere 13,000 convictions a year, this suggests just 0.1 per cent of these crimes are being punished by the authorities.
Despite the huge volume of drivers admitting to using their mobile phones at the wheel, the number of drivers prosecuted has fallen by 23 per cent over the past five years.
Department for Transport accident data for 2018 shows that 25 fatal and 92 serious accidents were caused on Britain's roads by motorists using their mobile phone.
That was an 11 per cent increase compared with figures for 2013.
Over the past five years in total, a massive 133 fatalities and 446 serious accidents have been directly linked to drivers being distracted by their phones – an average of one major incident every three days.
Despite these stats and the increase in penalties, a huge volume of drivers are still oblivious to the concept that it's illegal to use a phone at the wheel.
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Just one in nine (4.4 million) motorists polled by Direct Line believe it is legal to make or receive calls on a mobile phone when driving, while 8 per cent (the equivalent of three million drivers) think it's legal to send messages on their phone at the wheel.
Steve Barrett, head of motor insurance at the provider, said driving on the phone needs to be considered as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
'It only takes a second with eyes off the road, or being distracted by a mobile phone, for a life altering accident to happen or for a driver to find themselves facing prosecution and a criminal record,' he said.
'With new technology available to the police that uses sensors to detect if a driver is using their phone, people are at greater risk of prosecution for these offences than ever before.
'It is worrying that the majority of law-abiding drivers are being put at risk by those who allow themselves to be distracted behind the wheel.'
Glasgow bin lorry horror driver Harry Clarke can now apply to have licence back
The 62-year-old was behind the wheel of a refuse truck which careered out of control and killed six people in Glasgow in December 2014. Shamed ex- council worker Harry Clarke's three-year penalty for breaking a previous sanction ended on April 1.
A new blanket ban is due to be imposed on device use at the wheel, closing loopholes used in cases to argue that a driver was handling their phone to take photos rather than communicate via calls or texts.
Cameras designed to catch drivers using their phones for any purposes are due be rolled out by the end of the year.
The announcement by Transport for New South Wales comes after a six-month pilot program between January and June in which 100,000 drivers were busted using their phones while driving.
Minister for Regional Roads Paul Toole said independent modelling suggested these cameras could prevent 100 fatalities and serious accidents every year.
Transport Minister Andrew Constance said: 'Unfortunately some people haven’t received the message and think they can continue to put the safety of themselves, their passengers and the community at risk without consequence.'
Rod Dennis, a spokesman for the RAC, added that mobile phone use on the roads remained at 'epidemic levels' and conviction figures barely represent the magnitude of the problem.
New HD cameras to crackdown on phone users
A loophole in the current law means reckless drivers can be prosecuted only if they are caught using hand-held phones to call or text, with those who take photos or scroll through music playlists exempt from punishment.
Insurer offers early protected no-claims to young drivers
Move aims to help new motorists keep costs downNo-claims discounts (NCD) are applied based on how many years a motorist has driven without making an insurance claim and can offer reductions of up to 80 per cent. Many insurers now offer to protect or maintain these discounts, even if a driver does have to make a claim.
But, in a major change to the law announced last month, motorists are to be banned from picking up their mobiles for any reason.
Highways England is already trialling roadside cameras which can automatically take pictures of drivers using their phones.
The high-definition cameras would be fixed to overhead gantries and take super-clear pictures of drivers using their phone through windscreens.
The images would be sent to police and notices of intended prosecution posted to the vehicle’s owner in the same way as speeding penalties.
'While some drivers might have changed their behaviour when the penalties were toughened in 2017, all the indications are that many more continue to put lives at risk on a daily basis,' he told This is Money.
'Sadly, the numbers of people convicted for using a mobile phone illegally represents just the tip of an enormous iceberg.
'The Government has pledged to review the current offence governing phone use by drivers, which in time could see many more people fall foul of the law.
'Attention needs to turn to enforcement of the law so there's a much better chance that anyone using a phone illegally gets caught.
'We believe clever camera-based technology already in use in the Netherlands and Australia, which have been brought to the Government's attention, could play a really valuable role here.'
The research by Direct Line shows 7 per cent of drivers - approximately 2.7 million people - have been involved in a road traffic collision as a result of not paying attention to the road.
Over two thirds of these individuals (1.8 million) confess to habitually using their phone.
Analysis reveals the risk of being involved in a collision among those who touch their phone when driving is three times greater than for those that don't use their phone at all behind the wheel.
Significant numbers of motorists are consistently failing to pay attention to the road, with nearly 14,000 drivers prosecuted for driving without due care and attention each year, according the DVLA stats.
In the last three years 41,215 drivers have been prosecuted for driving without due care and attention.
A total of £7.2million in fines have been handed out over the same time period while 27,243 motorists have received between two and 11 penalty points for the offence.
How much does it cost to get a driving licence? .
Learning to drive isn't cheap, from driving lessons to the theory and driving tests, along with paying for a provisional driving licence needs to be renewed every 10 years. The cost for this is also between £14 and £21.50 depending on the method you choose. Cost of a replacement driving licence If your driving licence is lost, stolen, defaced or destroyed, it must be replaced by the DVLA at a cost of £20. You should also report a stolen driving licence to the police. It's worth noting that the paper counterpart is no longer needed, having been phased out on 8 June 2015.