Sussex Safer Roads Partnership supports national mobile phone campaign
Posted on Monday 7th February 2022 in News
Drivers are being warned about the dangers of using mobile phones while driving in a national campaign, supported by Sussex Safer Roads Partnership in conjunction with enforcement undertaken by Sussex Police.
Using mobile phones can cause drivers to take their eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel, and their minds off the road and the surrounding situation. This kind of distraction can cause serious, even fatal, incidents on the road.
There is a substantial body of research showing that using a mobile phone whilst driving, even legally via hands-free, is a considerable distraction and greatly increases the risk of a driver being involved in an accident. This is because of the mental distraction and the driver having to divided their attention between taking part in a phone conversation and driving. Therefore, we would suggest that you don’t use a mobile phone/device, even hands-free, whilst driving.
Using a mobile phone while driving is one of the Fatal Five offences that contributes to incidents of those killed and seriously injured (KSI) on our roads. In order to reduce the number of KSIs and improve road safety for all road users, the SSRP’s campaign seeks to highlight the dangers and consequences of being distracted at the wheel when using a mobile phone. Using a series of everyday scenarios, the campaign highlights the risks and repercussions of using a mobile phone behind the wheel, whether using to answer a call, divert a sat-nav route, or play a favourite song.
It’s important to realise that even if you aren’t contravening the mobile phone legislation, if operating any device whether it’s hand-held or not, affects your driving, you can still commit offences such as not being in proper control of your vehicle, careless or even dangerous driving. This also applies to operating any device in your vehicle, such as a car radio or sat nav.
Using a mobile phone whilst driving now carries 6 points and a £200 fine.
Whilst it is important to acknowledge the majority of drivers are responsible and do not use their mobile phone whilst driving, the few that continue to take risks by texting, surfing the internet or making or receiving calls are putting themselves and other road users in unnecessary danger.
Drivers on their mobiles are much less aware of what is happening around them and can fail to see road signs, maintain a proper lane position or a steady speed. They also end up feeling more stressed and frustrated and are more likely to tailgate the vehicle in front or enter unsafe gaps in traffic.
Motorists are four times more likely to be involved in a collision whilst using a mobile phone or being distracted in a vehicle, and their reactions are 50 per cent slower. Think twice before answering a call using hands free, and never take your eyes off the road. It is not worth the risk.
Further advice on safe travels is available on the SSRP website: www.sussexsaferroads.gov.uk