Hands-free mobiles 'just as dangerous' for driversAccident experts renew call for ban
02 March 2009
Hands-free kits are just as dangerous for drivers as handheld mobile phones, accident experts have claimed.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (Rospa) said talking on the phone can be a 'mental distraction' to drivers, regardless of whether or not a hands-free kit is used.
Rospa head of road safety Kevin Clinton said: 'Rospa has always said that the use of hands-free phone kits while driving should have been made illegal at the same time as handheld phones were.'
Banning hands-free kits
The renewed claim follows a survey by esure car insurance, which showed that over two-fifths of drivers think hands-free kits should be banned.
Using handheld mobile phones at the wheel was outlawed in December 2003, but hands-free kits remain legal to use. However, drivers who use a hands-free kit can still be prosecuted for not having proper control over their vehicle. If the police or drivers decide to take the case to court (rather than opt for a fixed penalty notice) offenders face three points, discretionary disqualification and a maximum fine of £1,000.
Mike Pickard, head of risk and underwriting at esure said: 'esure urges motorists to either put their phones on silent when driving or, to remove the temptation of answering a call when behind the wheel, to make sure they switch off their phones until they have also switched off their engines.'
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