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More drivers using hand-held mobiles

  • Hand-held mobile phone use rises
  • Drivers ignoring safety warnings
  • Using hand-held phones while driving is illegal

A growing number of drivers in England are ignoring safety warnings and are continuing to drive while using a hand-held mobile phone.

Latest figures from a Department for Transport survey carried out during 2009 show that the number of drivers observed using a hand-held mobile rose by 27% to 1.4% of all drivers.

While the overall percentage of drivers is still low, the rise is a marked one and flies in the face of research which states that the reaction times of drivers while using a hand-held mobile increase by 45%.

Using a hand-held phone while driving became illegal in December 2003 and carries a fixed penalty £60 fine and three points on the licence.

Using hands-free devices is still legal, although research suggests this causes almost as much of a distraction as using a hand-held device.