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Drivers flout mobile phone clampdown

One in five drivers is still using their mobile at the wheel nearly a year after tough new penalties were introduced.

CCTV specialist SmartWitness conducted research on 2,000 motorists

CCTV specialist SmartWitness conducted research on 2,000 motorists

Research from vehicle CCTV specialist SmartWitness among 2,000 motorists found that the number of offenders has dropped from one in four since the fixed penalty for being caught using a handheld phone in the car doubled to six penalty points and a £200 fine on 1 March 2017. However, this still means seven million motorists are regularly flouting the law even though they could see automatic disqualification.

The most common infringement was by drivers checking their phones for incoming messages while driving – 21% of motorists admitted doing that.

One in seven drivers (14%) said they still spoke on the phone while at the wheel and answered in-coming calls.

Yet three-quarters of drivers (76%) were aware of the increased penalties and two-thirds of those surveyed (67%) said they would support a further increase in fines and penalty points to deter future abuses.

The overwhelming majority of drivers breaking the law with phones only did it when they were stuck in traffic or moving slowly (69%). And nearly all drivers (92%) ignore their phones when they are driving at speed.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.