The Alliance for British Drivers (ABD) has urged the government to better enforce existing laws, rather than deliver bans on all distractions whilst driving. MPs called for Government to overhaul current laws on using hand-held mobile devices while driving, to cover use irrespective of whether this involves sending or receiving data.
The Transport Select Committee also highlighted evidence showing that using a hands-free device creates the same risks of crashing and recommended that Government explores options for extending the ban on hand-held devices to hands-free phones. In 2017, there were 773 casualties, including 43 deaths and 135 serious injuries, in collisions where a driver using a mobile phone was a contributory factor. The number of people killed or seriously injured has risen steadily since 2011. However, the rate of enforcement has plunged by more than two thirds since 2011. The ABD, a not-for-profit organisation that is owned by members who are representative of road users in the UK, however questioned the need for a blanket ban. ABD spokesman Nigel Humphries comments: "Anything can be allowed to become a distraction by a driver. It is the drivers' duty not to allow this to happen and this needs to be a core point in education and enforcement. Most drivers use good judgement as to when and where it is safe to allow themselves to take some of their attention from the road to talk to a passenger, glance at the scenery or at an instrument/screen on the dashboard or indeed make a hands free call. “There is however a small element of drivers who are either incompetent or simply reckless in their judgement. Such people often cannot even talk to a passenger without taking their eyes off the road. “Instead of banning potential distractions one by one and punishing those who act responsibly, education and enforcement, as ever, must be aimed at the incompetent and the reckless.”