Drivers still flouting mobile lawWarning comes after latest conviction

31 October 2007

hands on sterring wheel

Drivers continue to flout the law and use handheld mobile phones while behind the wheel, figures released by a road safety website suggest.

Since stricter penalties were introduced earlier this year, 1,119 drivers have been spotted using a mobile and reported to BetterDrivingPlease.com.

The website allows anyone to report bad driving. Nearly a quarter of all its reports involve a mobile phone.

Pensioner killed

Earlier this week, a motorist was jailed for two years for causing the death of an 80-year-old pedestrian while fiddling with her mobile phone at the wheel of her 4x4.

Mother-of-four Anne Foster-Chia, 44, denied she was using her phone at the time of the accident, but was convicted by a jury at Sheffield Crown Court of causing death by dangerous driving.

The court was told she was not concentrating on the traffic when her Toyota Rav4 failed to stop at a junction.

It collided with another vehicle and spun into Dorothy Andrews as she crossed the road, hurling her 15 yards.

Penalty points

Drivers caught using a mobile phone face a fine and three penalty points.

Andrew McGavin, founder of BetterDrivingPlease.com said the website is placing pressure upon the police to act.

He said: 'Ordinary people want something done about this. They are sick of seeing drivers flout the law so openly.

'The pressure created by reports placed on BetterDrivingPlease.com will force the police to recognise that traffic policing can't be done by speed cameras alone. Policing in-between cameras is failing.

'The ability for anyone to highlight dangerous driving on BetterDrivingPlease.com is creating a catalyst for change.'

'Worse than drink-driving'

The website displays all reports of bad driving for anyone to see.

Research released in September by Yesinsurance.co.uk showed that using a mobile phone behind the wheel could be worse than drink-driving.

Motorists using mobile phones were found to be four times more likely to crash - even if they had a hands-free kit, according to the research.

Mr McGavin added: 'It's no longer socially acceptable to drink and drive, yet we seem to tolerate drivers focusing more on their phone call than the road in front of them. This has to be tackled and it is the police's job to act.'

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