TRL, the UK's independent Transport Research Laboratory, says an increasing number of drivers are ignoring the potential danger and the penalty of using hand-held mobile phones when driving.
Its latest research shows that more drivers are now breaking the law using hand-held mobile phones than two years ago – and that's despite heavier penalties being introduced in early 2007.
2.6% of car drivers were using hand-held mobiles in 2006. That figure fell to 1.4% the following year after the penalty was increased to a £60 fine and three points added to a driving licence. Yet the number of drivers breaking the law is now higher than before, at 2.8%.
The study involved over 14,000 drivers in London, although the report's authors think the situation is likely to be the same across the UK.
Women aged 17-29 were most likely to use a hand-held mobile when driving, while men aged 30-59 were most likely to talk on a hands-free device. Hands-free mobile use by car drivers has quadrupled from 1.2% in 2006 to 4.8% in 2009. [Source: BBC News]