The campaign appeals to drivers to turn off their phones or put them in the boot, and urges everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who’s driving. It was launched almost exactly a decade after hand-held mobiles were banned at the wheel and is being supported by a week-long campaign of heightened police enforcement across the country targeting drivers on hand-held phones.
Distraction reduces hazard perception and increases reaction times in a similar way to drink-driving, making drivers much more likely to cause deaths and injuries. Drivers who think they can multi-task are mistaken: research shows that 98% are unable to divide their time without it affecting how they drive. Talking on a phone, even on a hands-free set, texting, emailing, adjusting sat navs, eating, drinking and smoking are all proven to increase drivers’ risk of crashing.
Roger said: “Staying focused is vital to ensuring driving safely, enabling you to spot hazards in time and react quickly in an emergency. If you’re using a mobile phone or any other gadget you’re more likely to crash, potentially causing very serious injury or even killing someone, as in the tragic case of a local schoolgirl in my constituency who was killed by a driver who was texting at the wheel.”
He continued: “These tragedies are entirely preventable, and happen far too often in our area and across the country. I’m urging everyone to back this campaign and pledge to avoid distractions at the wheel, to help prevent crashes and casualties in our community. If we all get behind this campaign, we can make a huge difference in making our local streets safer and stopping families suffering needlessly.”