Hands-free calls when driving could be made illegal

It has been suggested by a group of MPs that motorists should be banned from using hands-free mobile phone systems in England and Wales in the near future.

They have warned that current laws give a “misleading impression” that hands-free options are safe, they say.

Since 2003 it has been illegal to use a mobile phone while at the wheel, yet some MPs have now said that a hands-free call distracts drivers “essentially the same” amount as being at the legal limit for alcohol blood level.  

The cross-party group of MPs has said that a public consultation should be published by the end of this year.

The new law would only apply in England and Wales, as the issue is devolved in Scotland—meaning they would have to examine the matter themselves in parliament before any decision was made on the issue.

Joshua Harris, of road safety charity Brake, said that research has shown that using a hands-free device “can impair a driver in the same way as a hand-held device and so it makes sense that the law treats these acts equally.”

The committee report said that in 2017 there were 773 casualties on Britain’s roads including 43 fatalities and 135 serious injuries where a motorist using any kind of mobile phone was a contributory factor.

From March 2017, drivers caught using a phone behind the wheel have faced up to six points on their license and a £200 fine, which is up from the previous punishment of three points and a £100 fine.

The same group of cross-party MPs has also suggested to the government to consider raising these punishments further “to better reflect the serious risks created by drivers committing this offence.”

In the ever-evolving motoring landscape, this can only be a good thing for road-safety—we’re interested to see what the outcome of this will be at the end of the year. Do you agree? Let us know on social media.