Nick Lloyd, RoSPA’s acting head of road safety, said: “We are delighted that the Transport Committee is recommending an overhaul of the mobile phones law, and that it is asking the Government to consider banning hands-free phones. This is something we have been advocating for years as there is clear evidence that talking on the phone increases your reaction time and makes you less likely to spot hazards ahead, meaning you are a danger to yourself and other road users.
“The number of people being killed or seriously injured due to distractions from mobiles have been steadily increasing since 2011, and in 2017, 43 people lost their lives. That’s 43 families left without their loved ones, because someone was on the phone. That’s completely unacceptable, and the Government must take action.
“The current law is not fit for purpose, as it is too narrow in scope and was not designed to take account of, or keep pace with, developments in mobile phone technology. There are also several studies which repeatedly show that hands-free conversations are just as distracting, and can be as dangerous as drink-driving, so any new law should take this into account. Just because hands-free phones are legal, doesn’t mean they are safe. The Government should also address the urgent need for more road police, to ensure any new laws are practically enforceable.
“In the meantime, we appeal to everyone to stay off their phones, whether handheld or hands-free, while behind the wheel. No conversation is worth putting other people’s lives at risk.”