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Figures indicate drop in number of drivers being punished for mobile use

A news story published by the organisation said that figures from 36 forces show the number of drivers given fixed penalty notices fell by more than 40% from 2010-14. 

In addition to the BBC’s findings, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has pointed to an earlier study by the Department of Transport showed 1.1 per cent of drivers in England and Scotland were observed holding a phone in their hand with a further 0.5 per cent observed holding the phone to their ear – this is potentially more than 470,000 motorists. This major survey also showed no improvement in those breaking the law since it was last repeated in 2009. 

The IAM added that it has long stated the reduction in visible policing meant drivers are flouting the law in larger numbers – and there is no reason to think the trend won’t get worse. 

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “If 470,000 motorists are using mobile phones illegally and 72,000 tickets and 99,000 courses are being processed; it is a tiny and disappointing response. More worryingly neither approach seems to be having any effect on the numbers observed breaking the law. 

“Most are still getting away with it. Until the fear of being caught increases we will continue to see drivers taking risks holding mobile devices while driving.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 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.