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Terrified Texters: UK motorists worried about being caught using phone

TWO thirds of British motorists admit they fear being caught driving while using their mobile phone, a new survey has revealed.

It is illegal in the UK to be in charge of a vehicle while holding a telephone device, with punishments including a £200 fine and six penalty points.

And despite a police crackdown on the dangerous habit, experts insist millions of drivers still flaunt the law every year.

A new survey, conducted by leading vehicle leasing firm Select Car Leasing via OnePoll, found 68 per cent of motorists admit to being afraid of being nabbed by police over the crime.

Meanwhile, men are more brazen than women – with just 62 per cent admitting they fear a mobile phone-related punishment compared to 71 per cent of women.

Mark Tongue, director of Select Car Leasing, said: “The rules are clear that using a mobile phone while driving is simply not allowed.

“The law was brought in to cut down on crashes as a result of distracted drivers who aren’t paying attention to the road.

“However, it is thought millions of motorists break this law every year and hope they don’t get caught red-handed.

“There is no excuse for allowing yourself to get distracted by your phone while you are driving and the consequences can be fatal.”

Select Car Leasing commissioned polling firm OnePoll to quiz 1,000 British drivers on their attitudes towards motoring laws.

Respondents were asked how strongly they agreed or disagreed with the statement: “I’m not really worried about being caught using my mobile phone while driving.”

Two in three respondents said they either disagreed or strongly disagreed with the sentiment, while one in seven agreed.

Motorists in the South West led the way in a regional breakdown of the figures, with 82 per cent admitting they fear being caught using their mobiles while driving.

The East Midlands was next with 74 per cent, with the West Midlands third with 73 per cent.

Meanwhile, Londoners were far less bothered about breaking the law – with only one in three (34 per cent) admitting they feared retribution from the law.

The same survey uncovered worrying details about how UK drivers interpret the law, finding that a shocking one in five motorists across the UK think it is ok to use their mobile phones while in traffic, or their car is stationary.

Mobile phone driving laws were first introduced in the UK in 2003, but were toughened in 2017 to clamp down on the problem.

Hands-free kits are still allowed, as long as the driver is still able to concentrate on the road.

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Monday, 04/10/2021