UK Bans Use of Handheld Cell Phones While Driving
On December 1, a ban on using handheld mobile phones while driving has come into force in the UK, according to the BBC. Drivers are asked to turn off their phones while driving, and pull over if they need to make or receive a call. Despite the ban, a survey of drivers found 94% were unaware of the changes — even though a quarter admitted phoning or texting while behind the wheel. The fine is a £30 fixed penalty fine; rising to up to £1,000 if the matter goes to court. The fine increases up to £2,500 for drivers of vans, buses, coaches, and lorries. The AA Motoring Trust said drivers using mobiles were four times more likely to have an accident even if they were employing hands-free devices. A study by Sainsbury's Bank said that almost nine million people in the UK used a hand-held mobile phone while driving during the last year. Of those 709,000 said that using their phone has nearly caused them to have an accident. A spokesman for the bank said: "Our research reveals that 10% of motorists key in text messages while driving, 15% read messages and 16% answer calls."