MPs Want Hands-Free Mobile Ban In Cars

Tue 13th Aug 2019

An influential UK parliament committee is considering a recommendation for the banning of hands-free mobile phones to be used whilst driving.

The Commons Transport Select Committee has produced a report on road safety and the safety issues surrounding the use of a mobile while driving. The report includes the thoughts of many industry experts, including one opinion which suggests that using a hand-free phone will driving is an equal amount of distraction as being at the legal limit for alcohol blood level in England and Wales.

The report also suggests that while using a handheld phone has been illegal since 2003, the ‘same risks of collusion’ exist for hands free devices.

The report says: “Using a mobile phone or other device while driving impairs a person’s ability to drive safely and makes a road traffic collision more likely. This is true whether a device is hand-held or being used hands-free. 

“It is a tragedy—and one which is entirely avoidable—that 43 people were killed and a further 135 were seriously injured in 2017 in road traffic collisions where a driver using a mobile phone was a contributory factor in the crash. 

“We welcome the Government’s plans to publish an analysis of mobile phone use while driving, in order to help it decide what more needs to be done to tackle this activity. We hope that the evidence we have taken and the recommendations we make in this Report will be useful to the Government as it decides what further action is necessary.”

Whilst the report has drawn mixed reactions from the motoring public, leading organisations such as the AA have said more needs to be done to enforce existing laws.

Edmund King, president of the AA president said; “It is crucial that we continue to raise public awareness of the dangers of using a phone at the wheel and change attitudes to its use as we have with drink driving.  

“Enforcement is also key. Even the more stringent penalties have had less effect than expected on mobile phone abuse because offenders think the chance of being caught is minimal.”