May 29, 2017

DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION

GEM Mobile Phone leafletIt’s been predicted that distracted driving is set to become the biggest cause of road deaths by 2015 as motorists continue to flout the law by texting, talking and using social media on their handheld mobile devices. 2012 saw a staggering 583,686 drivers receive a £60 fine and three penalty points, which was over ten times the number of convictions for drink drive offences during that period. Patrick McLoughlin’s recent proposal of increasing the punishment for mobile phone use to six penalty points has been dismissed by safety campaigners as too little too late – they want to see a year-long ban. According to Department for Transport figures, in 2012 there were 378 accidents linked to mobile phone use in 2012, resulting in 17 fatalities. However, in reality this is merely the tip of the iceberg, with motoring experts suggesting that a far higher number of cases involving "in-vehicle distractions" were excluded from the accidents involving mobile phone use. Once factored in, the scenario looks far bleaker: between 2010 and 2012 there were 9,012 incidents and 196 deaths attributed to "in-vehicle distraction". Figures also show that it’s younger drivers aged between 18-25 that are the ones most at risk of being distracted by mobile devices while driving, but it’s certainly not a problem confined to the UK. A viral video campaign called “Eyes On The Road” has been released by Volkswagen to increase awareness of the risks of mobile phone use while driving in Japan, where the problem is rife. The video has been watched over 26m times.  
About Philip