RAC Report on Motoring 2023: Using a phone while driving

  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
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    Remember when it was deemed OK to use a mobile phone when driving?

    Seems that many have forgotten it's against the law to hold and use a phone, sat nav, tablet, or any handheld device that can send or receive data, while driving or riding a motorcycle.

    The 2023 RAC Report on Motoring has found that other motorists’ dangerous behaviour – from handheld mobile phone use to aggression at the wheel – is a significant concern for drivers.

    Would it surprise you to learn that nearly half of drivers aged 17 to 24 admitted using a phone at the wheel? And a third of drivers aged 25 to 44?

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    Any suggestions as to what might deter people from doing this?
    Last edited by Marc; 08-02-24 at 11:33.
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  • 6 Replies

  • Drivingforfun's Avatar
    I had an idea, which is that the authorities could employ people to drive around making sure motorists (or, well, anyone) are sticking to the law. They could be given powers to stop people if they suspect wrongdoing and to hand out fines and other punishments when they see someone breaking the law.

    In all seriousness I saw in Australia they get motorcycle police to filter through traffic jams looking into windows and pulling anyone seen on the phone. They tend to catch someone within about 2-3 mins, so even if it took an hour of admin for each person caught (I'm sure it's less) that's £200 x 7 per copper per working day. From a revenue-raising perspective alone surely it would be worthwhile?
  • Beelzebub's Avatar
    I had an idea, which is that the authorities could employ people to drive around making sure motorists (or, well, anyone) are sticking to the law. They could be given powers to stop people if they suspect wrongdoing and to hand out fines and other punishments when they see someone breaking the law.

    In all seriousness I saw in Australia they get motorcycle police to filter through traffic jams looking into windows and pulling anyone seen on the phone. They tend to catch someone within about 2-3 mins, so even if it took an hour of admin for each person caught (I'm sure it's less) that's £200 x 7 per copper per working day. From a revenue-raising perspective alone surely it would be worthwhile?
    The police don't generally have a 'revenue-raising' function, and would have no incentive since the revenue would go elsewhere.

    May be different in Oz.
    Last edited by Beelzebub; 05-12-23 at 15:57. Reason: addition
  • Santa's Avatar
    @Marc You would think that the threat of a £200 fine and six points might be sufficient, but it's clearly not.

    A hard-hitting series of road safety advertisements might help. but many of those "young drivers" don't watch live TV anyway.

    I see that there are now cameras capable of detecting offenders and as they become more widespread I am sure that they will have an impact.
  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
    I had an idea, which is that the authorities could employ people to drive around making sure motorists (or, well, anyone) are sticking to the law. They could be given powers to stop people if they suspect wrongdoing and to hand out fines and other punishments when they see someone breaking the law.

    In all seriousness I saw in Australia they get motorcycle police to filter through traffic jams looking into windows and pulling anyone seen on the phone. They tend to catch someone within about 2-3 mins, so even if it took an hour of admin for each person caught (I'm sure it's less) that's £200 x 7 per copper per working day. From a revenue-raising perspective alone surely it would be worthwhile?

    Now there's a thought @Drivingforfun 😉
    I guess it can all be done with cameras these days?
  • Marc's Avatar
    Community Manager
    @Marc You would think that the threat of a £200 fine and six points might be sufficient, but it's clearly not.

    A hard-hitting series of road safety advertisements might help. but many of those "young drivers" don't watch live TV anyway.

    I see that there are now cameras capable of detecting offenders and as they become more widespread I am sure that they will have an impact.

    What if the fine were higher @Santa ? Say... £1,000 flat fine and six points
  • Santa's Avatar
    What if the fine were higher @Santa ? Say... £1,000 flat fine and six points

    I think that would be disproportionate. Maybe instant confiscation of the phone? They take uninsured cars after all.