Mobile phone warning for drivers

Switch your phone off before you drive off – that’s the message from Derby and Derbyshire Road Safety Partnership after a survey found that nearly half of drivers chat on their phones while at the wheel.

The research by road safety charity Brake also found that nearly two-thirds of those who admit to talking on the phone while driving are flouting the law by using hand-held mobiles.

Partnership chairman Mike Ashworth said: “We’re urging all drivers to switch off before they drive off. Please don’t put lives at risk - you’re four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving

“It’s not illegal to drive while using a hands-free phone – but you can still be prosecuted if you’re distracted and not properly in control of your vehicle.”

The survey by Brake and insurance company Direct Line also revealed that young drivers are more likely to break the law by using a hand-held phone while at the wheel than older drivers, and that 44 per cent of young drivers admit to texting at the wheel compared to 27 per cent of older drivers.

Up to 21 per cent of young drivers email, go online or use apps at the wheel compared to nine per cent of older drivers, men are slightly more likely to chat on a phone while at the wheel than women (50 per cent compared to 47 per cent) and young drivers are slightly more likely to chat on the phone while at the wheel than older drivers.