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Hands-free car phones 'should be banned'

Fri, 25 Apr 2014

THE USE hands-free mobile phones while driving should be banned. This is the view of road safety charity Brake that says four in ten drivers (38%) admit to using hands-free phones in the car despite research that shows talking on a hands-free system is just as dangerous as using a hand-held mobile phone.

Drivers who use a mobile phone while driving are four times more likely to be involved in a collision that causes serious or fatal injuries. Talking on a mobile phone, whether hand-held or hands-free, reduces the driver’s reaction time by 50% compared to a driver not talking on the phone.

The same research by Brake also found that 30% of drivers admit to sending or reading text messages while driving. That figure rises to 44% among young drivers aged 18- to 24-years old.

Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive of Brake, said: ‘It is shocking that, ten years after the ban, one in eight drivers continues to flout the law and put lives in danger by using a hand-held mobile at the wheel.

‘Just as worrying is the widespread belief that using a hands-free kit is a safe alternative. Don't kid yourself: it's not. Using a hands-free phone while driving can end and ruin lives just as surely as using a phone hand-held, and no phone call or text is worth a life.

‘The government needs to act now to stop this risky behaviour. We all need to take responsibility and put our phones safely out of reach and earshot while behind the wheel, and refuse to speak on the phone to others who are driving.’

By Press Association reporters