Bath School of Motoring and Lanham's Driving School Ltd

Successfully teaching to drive in Bath & surrounding areas for over 45 years

Road Safety News

Written by: Bath School of Motoring

04/02/2016

Drivers who use their mobile phones to talk, text or go online are a growing worry for motorists, according to a new report.

 

The annual RAC Report on Motoring reveals that just over a thrid of the 1,555 drivers surveyed ranked the dangers of somebody using a mobile phone while in control of a vehicle as one of their top four issues of concern.  

A totoal of 83 per cent said it was unacceptable to take even a short call with a hand-held phone while driving, although 12 per cent (up from seven per cent last year) thought it was a reasonable thing to do.

Almost three quarters (73 per cent) said it was not safe to use a phone to text or check social media while in stationary traffic but 17 per cent thought it posed little danger.

The majority of those surveyed (79 per cent) claimed there was little point in increasing fines or penalties for the likes of mobile phone use unless there is effective enforcement, while 62 per cent said there were not enough police on the roads.  Quoted in the report is Daryl Lloyd, the Department of Transport's Head of Road Safety Statistics.  He said "Our latest figures show that the rate of drivers using hand-held mobile phones in cars is about one to two percent.  Although this seems to be very low it still means that every time you go out of the house, out of every hundred cars there are going to be two people on the phone."

High profile cases of famous people using mobiles while driving may have made motorists more aware of the issue, the report suggests.

Director of RAC Foundation, said: "Rarely a day goes by without a mobile phone story somewhere in the media.  Sadly, it's the story that keeps ongiving because of the number of recognised figures - celebs or footballers - who get caught on camera, which suggests that many people still don't really understand the risks they are running."

Other road safety concerns covered in the report are speeding, drink driving and drug driving.

SPEEDING

Seven out of 10 motorists surveyed admitted to regularly or occasionally breaking the 70mph motorway speed limit, with 65 per cent backing it to be raised to 80mph.

It seems that fewer drivers break the speed limit on non-motorway roads.   Forty four per cent said they exceeded the 30mph urban limit, 46 per cent admitted breaking the 50mph and 60mph on country roads and 44 per cent said they exceeded the 20mph limit that is becoming more common in urban areas.

Although 61 per cent said the 20mph limit was appropriate, 33 per cent wanted to see it raised to 25 or 30mph.  

"The percentage saying the limit should be higher is actually failing." said Cheif Executive of Campaign for Better Transport.  "Maybe they are seeing the benefits from the spread of 20mph zones and perhaps as residents want the areas they live in to be safer."

DRINK DRIVING

The survey reports that there has been little change over the last 12 months in the number of motorists admitting to drink driving or travelling in a car with a driver who is over the limit - 18 per cent this year, 17 per cent in 2014.

The figure is higher for younger drivers, with 26 per cent of those aged 17 - 24 thinking or knowing they had driven while over the limit.  However, 15 per cent of that age group said drink driving was their number one concern.

More than half (56 per cent) of those surveyed think the blood-alcohol limit should be reduced at least to 50mg/100ml from the current 80mg/100ml as it was in Scotland last December.

DRUG DRIVING

Tjhe Report on Motoring reveals that 6 per cent of motorists said they have driven under the influence of drugs in the past 12 months, a sharp rise on the previous year of 2 per cent.  It is suggested this may be because of increased awareness that a number of legal drugs can render motorists unfir to drive.  New legislation came into force in March '15 which identified 12 illegal and 12 prescription drugs which could impair a driver's ability.  However, 37 per cent of those surveyed said they did not believe the new law will reduce the number of drug-drivers on the road.