Mobile Phone Use in Cars


Award winning local solicitor Hilary Meredith-Beckham has continued her campaign to make the region’s roads safer by issuing a warning on the dangers of using a mobile phone, or speaking ‘hands free’, while driving.

“Recent court sentences illustrate that in-car mobile phone abuse isn’t a crime committed by a certain type or class of driver.  Drivers everywhere have to break the habit,” says Hilary.

It has been illegal to use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving since December 2003 – but the AA has calculated that at any one time, around 100,000 Brits are breaking the law which bans the use of handheld mobile phones while driving.

Says Hilary:

“There are enough distractions on the road as it is; talking on a mobile phone is just too dangerous.”

While it is an offence to be seen using a handheld phone, regardless of whether driving has been affected, this is not the case for hands-free phones – although Hilary says drivers should not make a habit of this either.

Head of Road Safety at the AA, Andrew Howard, advises new drivers to take a stance against using a phone whilst driving:

“If new drivers avoid using a mobile phone when behind the wheel in the same way they avoid drink driving, then their friends will soon understand they’re not going to pick up when driving. The sooner their mates accept this, the safer new drivers, and those on the roads with them, will be.”

Added Hilary:

“A recent study by the Transport Research Laboratory found drivers using a hands-free phone reacted nearly a third slower than those slightly over the drink-drive limit.

“This suggests that millions could be unwittingly risking their own and others’ lives whilst obeying the law on phone use in a vehicle.”