IAM response to TRL mobile phone use survey

A UK study by the Transport Research Laboratory into the prevalence of illegal mobile phone use while driving reveals some interesting data.

The TRL said the data would give them a greater understanding of who is using mobile phones while driving and for what purpose and how this can then be used to support future policy development.

The figures show in 2014, 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 equates to more than 470,000 motorists.

A higher proportion of drivers in England and Scotland were observed using a hand-held mobile phone when stationary (2.3 per cent) than in moving traffic (1.6 per cent).

The figures show that more men than women use a hand-held phone, and that van drivers were the most likely group to be seen doing it at 2.7% - almost twice the rate for car drivers. 5.2 % of young drivers aged 17 to 29 were seen holding a mobile phone making them by far the biggest group by age.

Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “The results are very disappointing but not at all surprising. Campaigners routinely talk about the inherent dangers of the distraction caused by mobile phone usage, but drivers never believe they will be caught.

“Tackling mobile phone usage must be a government priority for 2015,” he said.