UK drivers want handsfree mobiles banned
Seven in ten UK motorists think using a handsfree kit whilst driving is a distraction, according to insurance firm esure.
A study by the car insurance provider found that 71% of drivers believe making or receiving a call on handsfree technology is a distraction.
Whilst it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving, it is currently legal to speak-and-drive on a handsfree kit.
Sixteen million drivers use handsfree technology on a frequent basis, esure said.
Forty percent of motorists, however, would like in-car handsfree kits to be banned.
Mike Pickard, head of risk at esure, said: “Although the use of hands-free kits is legal, motorists should always ensure that they pay full attention to the road as opposed to a phone conversation.”
Meanwhile, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) has issued a warning that speaking on the phone whilst driving is a ‘mental distraction’, regardless of whether a handsfree kit is used.
Kevin Clinton, Rospa head of road safety, said: “Rospa has always said that the use of handsfree phone kits while driving should have been made illegal at the same time as handheld phones were.”
In 2007, more than 185,000 drivers were convicted of using a hand-held phone whilst driving.
In the same year, 3,000 motorists were prosecuted for not having proper control of their vehicle whilst being distracted by a handsfree phone call.
Recent research by the AA found that motorists caught using a mobile phone whilst driving pay significantly higher insurance premiums.