The anniversary of the ban on using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving is 27th February. If caught using a handheld device you now face increased penalties of three points and a £60 fine. But according to Parrot’s recent consumer study, a majority of drivers are still dialling and driving, with one third using their mobiles in the car in the last year and 38% of these people openly admitting to not using a hands free kit of any sort.
Despite a massive awareness campaign by the government, including costly advertising spends, a recent survey undertaken by Parrot has shown that even though the legislation has now been in force for a year many people are still unsure of how it affects them. With this in mind drivers need help to ensure that with the pressures and hectic pace of life they still remain on the right side of the law.
So what are the reasons behind these statistics – just our compulsion to answer the phone! With a hefty 59% of us saying that when their phone rings in the car they feel obliged to answer it despite the law. As a nation of workaholics 48% of those who use their phones in the car stated that it was necessary for work but yet one in four of these people do not own a hands free kit of any kind.
Confused? 81% of those who have used their phone in the car do not understand the legislation
Chris Roberts, Country Director for Parrot commented, “The law clearly states that you must be in control of your vehicle at all times, In 2006 77,000 fines were issued, which translates to a staggering £2.3 million in fines and untold points added to licenses. There
are some simple golden rules to follow to make sure you are safe in your car”:
Turn off your phone when you are on the road, you can always ring back once you arrive at your destination.
If you cannot turn off your phone, then stay within the law. If you know you have to be available whilst on the road, then chose to have a car kit installed and use it safety ensuring you are in control of your vehicle at all times. If a call is that important then pull off the road to take it.
Ensure that your kit will always update with new numbers that you have installed into your phone. This gives you the opportunity to see who is calling and gives you the choice to take or refuse a call.
Voice recognition is key: set up your voice tags – or even better ensure that you use a kit that will automatically recognise names once it is installed, that way if you need to make a call you are ready to go. Fumbling for an earpiece means you may take your eyes off the road.
Ensure that you have a kit that will help you to hear and be heard – you must not be distracted in the car so a device that is clear so that you are not straining to hear is vital.