COMMONS

Committee investigates the impact of mobile phones on road safety

11 June 2019

The Transport Committee today launches a short inquiry into road safety and mobile phones.

Purpose of the inquiry

Despite a reduction of more than 40 percent in the number of fatal road collisions during the years 2007-2012, the figures have plateaued, with no reduction in the past five years. The Transport Committee recently launched an inquiry into road safety. Since April 24, the Committee has published more than one hundred pieces of written evidence covering a wide range of issues from drink drive limits, to the rules which apply to new and novice drivers, and the safety of roadside rescue and recovery workers.

The Committee will now embark on a series of evidence sessions and short inquiries exploring different areas of road safety where the Department for Transport could make a difference.

The first session will be on road safety and mobile phones. The Committee will consider:

  • Use of mobile phones by drivers and the risks this poses
  • The adequacy of legislation relating to mobile phone use by motorists
  • How enforcement and education around mobile phone use can be improved.

Chair's comments

The Chair of the Transport Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said:

“Research shows that using a hand-held mobile phone impairs driving more than being above the drink drive limit. In 2017 mobile phone use was a contributory factor in collisions leading to 773 casualties, including 43 fatalities. This is clearly unacceptable.

“The written evidence submitted to our inquiry suggests the use of mobile phones while driving is an issue of real concern. It has been against the law to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving since 2003, but there is still a significant minority of drivers who flout the law and continue to use their mobile phone when they are driving.

“We welcome the response to this inquiry and we’re keen to explore some of the issues which have been raised with us. In this first session, we will be asking why so many drivers continue to break the law by using their phone while they are driving; whether the law in this area is fit for purpose; how the Government can better educate the public about the risks of driving while using a mobile phone; and how it can ensure the law can be enforced.” 

Witnesses

Wednesday 12 June 2019, Committee Room 18, Palace of Westminster

At 9.45am:

  • Dr Gemma Briggs, Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Open University 
  • Dr Shaun Helman, Chief Scientist, Transport Research Laboratory 
  • Nick Lyes, Head of Roads Policy, RAC 

Further information

Image: Marlon Lara at Unsplash

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