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Mobile ban one year on

One year on from the introduction of tough new laws for using a mobile phone whilst driving, a survey has found over a third of motorists are flouting the law.

The research on behalf of Halfords has found that many motorists are still breaking the law by using a hand held mobile phone behind the wheel.

And hundreds of thousands of motorists are less than three points away from losing their licence and can even face prison as a result.

The study shows that over a third of motorists on the road have sent texts or listened to their phone messages whilst driving and over a million motorists across the country have caused an accident because of this.

There are two exemptions to the law including 2- way "press to talk" radios, such as those used by the emergency services and taxi drivers and using a hand-held phone for a genuine emergency call to 999 or 112 should it be unsafe for the driver to stop.

However, 19% of motorists participating in the Halfords survey cited the need to make personal calls whilst driving, with a further 6% claiming to use the phone to make business calls.

One year on, it does however appear that the updated law could be making some headway.

Government statistics claim that the use of handheld mobile phones by car drivers between September 2006 and August 2007 dropped from 1.7% to 1%, with use amongst other motorists using hand-held mobiles dropping from 2.9% to 2.4%.

Halfords In Car Technology Marketing Manager, Clare Pritchard said: "Our research shows that almost six million drivers are now using a hands free earpiece or fully fitted hands free car kit.

"However this only represents 17% of motorists on the road and therefore it seems there is still some way to go in ensuring that drivers who do use mobile phones do so legally and drive with due care and attention."

Posted on 26.02.2008
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