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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Over 16,000 UK drivers caught using a mobile phone or device in 2022


A Freedom of Information request by Confused.com has revealed that more than 16,000 UK drivers were caught using a mobile phone or device while driving between January and October 2022. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Despite stricter laws being introduced last year to deter drivers from breaking the law, UK police forces issued a staggering £3.3m in fines. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The research looked at data from 31 UK police forces and found that 16,547 drivers were caught using a mobile phone last year, even with stricter laws introduced in 2022. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Interacting with mobile phones, sat navs, or touch screen radios while driving is illegal, even if it seems harmless. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Tighter penalties were introduced last year, making it illegal to adjust a route on maps or a sat nav without pulling over in a safe place. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

However, Confused.com’s survey of 2,000 UK motorists found that more than 2 in 5 (41%) were caught using their phone or other device while driving last year. For drivers who have been caught by police in the past, the most common reasons were reading a text/message (35%) or accepting/declining a call (33%). ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The data revealed that London is one of the worst offending regions, with the Metropolitan Police reporting the highest number of drivers using a mobile phone between January and October 2022, with a total of 5,492 offences. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

This is higher than the total number caught by all police forces operating in Scotland, who caught 1,196 drivers doing so last year in comparison. West Yorkshire and Kent County Constabulary also caught a high number of mobile phone offences. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

Louise Thomas, Confused.com car insurance expert, stated that “Driving laws are essential for keeping road users safe. And anything that can steal your attention from the road should be avoided, as it’s most likely going to be breaking the law.” ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

She urged drivers to pull over in a safe place and turn off their vehicle if they need to interact with their mobile phone or other devices while driving. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

The survey also found that more than a quarter of UK motorists said they’ve interacted with other devices while driving, such as a sat nav (27%) or touch screen radio (28%). While this may seem less dangerous than using a mobile phone, these devices can still be distracting. ‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌​

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