London drivers ‘bucking the trend’ on mobile phones

LRSC RAC mobile phone survey

More than half of London’s drivers are making or receiving calls at the wheel, double the UK average, a new survey suggests.

According to the survey, carried out for the RAC’s annual Report on Motoring, 52% the Capital’s drivers make or take calls – a year-on-year rise of 16% – compared to 25% of all UK drivers.

The RAC says that while many parts of the UK recorded a reduction in drivers admitting to using a handheld phone illegally, London stands out as clearly ‘bucking this trend’.

In addition, 41% of London’s drivers admit to sending texts, social media posts or emails at the wheel – compared to a 16% national average. Of those, 24% confessed to doing this ‘most’ or ‘all of the time’.

The findings have prompted the RAC to ‘raise a warning flag’ about the ‘apparent fading impact’ of the tougher penalties, introduced in March 2017, which mean those caught committing the offence receive six penalty points and a £200 fine.

Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesperson, said:

“Following the introduction of stronger penalties in 2017, we saw a promising shift with some drivers changing their behaviour for the better and becoming compliant with the law.

“Sadly, that didn’t signal the start of a longer-term trend with drivers now seemingly returning to their old ways and putting themselves and millions of other road users at risk.

“There is still a huge job to do in communicating to drivers the dangers of continuing to mix driving with illegally using a mobile phone.”

21 March 2019