The study by the RAC found that:
- 48 per cent of drivers admitted using handhelds while in stationary traffic;
- 31 per cent had used one to make a call while driving;
- 19 per cent had sent a text, email or posted on social media such as Facebook or Twitter while moving, rising to 37 per cent in stationary traffic;
- 22 per cent had taken a photograph or video while in stationary traffic, and 14 per cent had done so in moving traffic;
- 41 per cent of drivers claimed mobile phone use by other road users was their biggest safety concern.
In the past decade at least 205 people have been killed in Britain in crashes involving drivers using handheld phones. In 2014, 492 accidents were blamed on phone use, with 21 people killed and 84 suffering serious injuries.
There is clear evidence that illegal use of handheld phones by drivers to talk, text, tweet, post, browse online and even video call is on the increase. This is due to the combination of our constantly growing addiction to ever more sophisticated smartphones, coupled with there being little or no fear of being caught in the act.
It is illegal to drive a car or ride a motorcycle using a handheld phone. Drivers can get an automatic fixed penalty notice, three penalty points and £100 fine. The case could also be taken to court, where the maximum fine is £1,000 and licence disqualification.