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Drivers urged to avoid distractions

A new road safety campaign has been launched by Brake aimed at encouraging motorists to cut out distractions when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Focusing on tackling the issue of people using mobiles while in charge of a vehicle, the body stated it is not just individuals who flout the law and have the phone to their ear while driving that this campaign is aimed at, but all those who use hands-free kits as well.

According to research from Dr Amy Guo of Newcastle University that has been highlighted as part of the campaign, individuals focusing on multiple tasks while driving have reduced reaction times, meaning it is not using the mobile that is the distraction, but the act of the conversation itself.

As such, Brake is urging everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to anyone who is at that time in charge of a vehicle and cut out all unnecessary distractions.

Responding to the launch of the initiative, road safety minister Robert Goodwill commented: “The UK has one of the best road safety records in the world and improving this record remains a top priority for the government.

“That is why we have increased fines for using a mobile at the wheel, made it easier for the police to tackle bad driving behaviour and we are looking at how we can improve young driver safety.”

The new campaign comes almost a decade after the introduction of laws banning the use of mobile phones for drivers.

At present, more than half a million (575,000) UK driving licence holders have points on their licence for using a mobile phone at the wheel, with one in 15 of this group having six points or more for this offence.

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