Using a mobile while driving 'worse than drink or drugs'

The Government are considering introducing tougher penalties for using a mobile phone while you drive after research showed that it slowed reactions more than drink or drugs, The Sunday Times (£) reports.

A file picture of a woman driving her car while talking on her mobile phone. Credit: Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/DPA

A study by the Transport Research Laboratory found that a driver's reaction time slowed by 46% when they made a call on a mobile, compared with 37% when texting and 27% during hands-free calls.

It also found that reaction times reduced by 13% for those on the drink-drive limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood and 21% for those who had used cannabis.

The newspaper showed the results to road safety minister Robert Goodwill who said he would talk to the Ministry of Justice about the issue and added: "I will see if we need to change the penalties.”