Charity calls for ban on phones at the wheel18 November 2013

To mark the start of Road Safety Week (18 November), the charity Brake is calling for drivers and employers to stop mobile phone use when behind the wheel.

The call comes a decade after handheld mobiles were banned for drivers, and it coincides with a week-long police enforcement campaign.

Brake wants more employers to ban mobile phone use -- including hands-free. The charity highlights research out today from Newcastle University, which suggests that dealing with work-related calls on hands-free is just as risky as holding the phone, because concentrating on the call is a distraction.

Brake asserts that more than half a million UK drivers have points on their licence for using a phone at the wheel or being otherwise distracted.

As part of the week's activities, oilfield support services companies Asco and Enviroco are taking trucks into schools in Norfolk and Aberdeenshire to raise awareness among children about road safety by demonstrating the limited visibility from within the cab of a large vehicle.

Transport minister Robert Goodwill welcomed Brake's road safety initiative, adding: "The UK has one of the best road safety records in the world and improving this record remains a top priority for the government.

"That is why we have increased fines for using a mobile at the wheel, made it easier for the police to tackle bad driving behaviour, and we are looking at how we can improve young driver safety."

Laura Cork

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