Road safety: driving while using a mobile phone

Organisation: Transport Committee
Date uploaded: 28th August 2019
Date published/launched: August 2019

This report says the Government should consider tougher restrictions on driving while using a mobile phone, as well as stricter enforcement of the law.The report calls for an overhaul of mobile phone laws to cover all use of hand-held devices – pointing to evidence showing the use of a hands-free device creates the same crash risk.It recommends the Government explores options for extending the ban on hand-held devices to hands-free phones.

Current legislation, introduced in 2003, says an offence is committed if a driver uses a handheld mobile phone for ‘interactive communication’ behind the wheel.

The report says enforcing the law is essential to ensure that motorists do not illegally use their mobile phone while driving and calls on the Government to work with police to boost efforts and make better use of technology.

It says existing penalties for the offence, set in 2017, should be reviewed and potentially increased so that it is clear there are serious consequences to being caught.

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