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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

North Yorkshire Drivers Urged To Put Mobile Phones In The Boot

Road Safety

9:19am 18th November 2013

A campaign launched today (18 November) by the charity Brake at the start of Road Safety Week calls on drivers across Yorkshire to tune into road safety, to prevent appalling crashes caused by multitasking at the wheel. The campaign appeals to drivers to turn off their phones or put them in the boot, and urges everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who's driving. It's being launched almost a decade after hand-held mobiles at the wheel were banned and coincides with a week-long enforcement campaign.

Brake is revealing statistics confirming the extent of driver distraction, and its impact on vulnerable road users in Yorkshire: 

  • More than 42,000 Yorkshire drivers have points on their licence for using their mobile phone at the wheel or being otherwise distracted (postcode figures). One in 18 (5.6%) of these drivers have six points or more for driving distracted and four in five (80%) are male [1];
  • Six in ten Yorkshire school children (58%) report being driven by a driver talking on a phone and eight in 10 (79%) have spotted drivers on mobile phones outside their school or home - suggesting the majority of children are being endangered by drivers for the sake of a call or text [2].

The tune in to road safety campaign is being launched in Road Safety Week by events and demonstrations in schools, universities and town centres across the UK, highlighting the dangers of taking your eyes, hands or mind off the road. The campaign in Yorkshire is being supported by Leeds Safer Roads Partnership and transport academics at Leeds University. North Yorkshire Police are supporting the campaign.

Brake say distraction reduces hazard perception and increases reaction times in a similar way to drink-driving, making drivers much more likely to cause deaths and injuries [3]. They add that drivers who think they can multi-task are fooling themselves: research shows 98% are unable to divide their time without it affecting performance [4]. Talking on a phone, say Break,  hand-held or hands free, texting, emailing, adjusting sat navs, eating, drinking and smoking are all proven to increase crash risk [5].

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