Volkswagen commercial vehicles recently carried out a study about the use of mobile phones while driving, and an alarming 9 out of 10 van drivers confess that they do use their mobile behind the wheel. This comes less than 12 months after laws surrounding mobile phones and cars were made tougher.
What the Rules Say
Due to the tightening of legislation, drivers who use their mobile or handheld devices while behind the wheel, no matter what the purpose, are breaking the law. If they are caught, they will receive a £200 fine and six penalty points on their license. However, it doesn't seem like this is proving to be much of a deterrent. If you are making contactless payments and your vehicle is stationary, for example, you are using the services of a drive-through, you may use your phone or mobile device to make a payment. This is under the proviso that the mobile phone is positioned in safely secured correctly.
Many Claim They Were Unaware
Of those drivers who responded to the survey to say they did use their mobile phone while driving, over 50% also claimed they did not know what had specifically changed when it came to the laws surrounding mobile phone law and driving. The legislation specifically prohibits many activities, including taking photos, accessing social media accounts, texting, adjusting your playlist and gaming. The 50% who were aware of the changes to legislation, simply did not care and continued to use their devices as they felt necessary.
The way to safely use the phone while in the vehicle is to harness the power of certain technologies. 96% of those who responded to the survey said that they already had taken steps to install things like Bluetooth connectivity. 75% of the drivers in the study, said they are not required to make up to 10 phone calls a day. However, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles Head of Network Sales, Rob Holdcroft, was keen to remind drivers that poor weather conditions, including ice and torrential rain, make driving even more difficult, and it is imperative that in order for safety to be taken into account drivers must avoid anything that takes their attention away from the road. It is not just the driver's safety that is put at risk, but that of passengers and pedestrians are like. Looking at mobile devices is an obvious distraction and, therefore, must be avoided at all costs. Van drivers are urged to take advantage of safety technology, wherever possible, including adaptive cruise, control and voice activation for their devices in order to ensure that the roads are kept safe, but people are not excluded from working.