Warning over car mobile use

Road safety charity Brake are calling for Welsh drivers to stop multi-tasking at the wheel. They launch their new campaign today.

Warning over number of Welsh motorists using mobile phones when driving

Road safety experts have revealed the growing number of motorists being prosecuted for using mobile phones and other devices while driving.

Some 37,000 Welsh drivers have points on their licences, according to the charity Brake.

Thousands more are thought to have taken special safety improvement courses to avoid the penalty after being caught using their phone while driving.

Dean Thomas reports.

Cardiff postcode tops list for mobile phone penalty points

Using a mobile phone when driving a motor vehicle is an offence classed as 'CU80'. It can attract three penalty points.

The figures are broken down throughout the UK by postcode area.

In Wales:

  • More than three times as many male drivers have CU80 points compared to female ones
  • Drivers with a Cardiff 'CF' postcode have top the the table, with more than 9,000.
  • This is followed by drivers with a Swansea 'SA' postcode, with those with a Chester 'CA' postcode in third place.

Click here to view the figures for the UK in full

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National

Mobiles putting 'most vulnerable road users in danger'

Mobile phones pose a "similar" threat to road users as drunk drivers would and are leading otherwise responsible drivers into "horrific" accidents, a safety campaigner has said.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend explained:

We're living in an age when being constantly connected is the norm. More and more of us have smartphones, and find it hard to switch off, even for a minute.

While there are enormous benefits to this new technology, it's also posing dangerous temptations to drivers to divert their concentration away from the critical task at hand, often putting our most vulnerable road users in danger.

Many people who wouldn't dream of drink-driving are succumbing to using their phone and other distractions while driving, oblivious that the effect can be similar and the consequences just as horrific.

– Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend
National

62% of children watched driver talk on a mobile

Over half of all children recalled being driven as the person behind the wheel used a mobile phone, road safety campaigners have said.

According to road safety campaigners Brake:

  • A further 79% had spotted drivers on their mobile outside their school or home.
  • 575,000 UK drivers have points on their licence for using their mobile phone at the wheel or being otherwise distracted.
  • Of these, 6.5% have totted up six points or more;

37,000 drivers in Wales have points for using mobile phones

Distraction decreases reaction times in a similar way to drink-driving Credit: PA

37,000 Welsh drivers have points on their licence for using mobile phones and other devices whilst driving.

The road safety charity, 'Brake,' are today launching a campaign calling on drivers to 'tune in to road safety' and stop multitasking at the wheel.

Demonstrations in schools, universities and town centres across Wales and the rest of the UK, will highlight the dangers of driving whilst distracted.

70% of Welsh school children say they've been driven by a driver talking on the phone, and 73% have spotted drivers on mobile phones outside their school or homes.

It's been almost ten years since the use of hand-held mobiles at the wheel was banned.