Responding to media reports that the Secretary of State for Transport is considering increasing from three to six the number of points a driver might get if caught using a hand-held mobile at the wheel Professor Stephen Glaister, director of the RAC Foundation, said:
“Our own research shows how dangerous using mobile at the wheel can be. Texting while driving impairs reactions more than being at the drink drive limit or high on cannabis. However the large number of motorists still using phones at the wheel is less about the size of penalties and more about the chance of being caught.
"The Department for Transport’s own figures show that after two previous occasions when this law was tightened and fines increased the number of people offending initially dropped but then rapidly rose again. The conclusion must be that drivers simply don’t think they are going to be caught.”
In 2012, the use of a mobile phone at the wheel was a contributory factor in 17 fatal accidents and 67 accidents where someone was seriously injured.
These are the two pieces of research referred to in the comment above.
DfT observational study of mobile phone and seat belt compliance:
RAC Foundation commissioned study on impact on reaction times of texting whilst driving:
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