Charity calls for total mobile phone ban

A road safety charity is appealing for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth drivers to switch off their phones to save lives.

Nearly 85,000 Scottish drivers currently have points on their licence for using mobile phones or for other distractions.

This week, Road Safety Week, Brake are calling on drivers to prevent appalling crashes caused by multitasking at the wheel. The campaign appeals to drivers to turn off their phones or put them in the boot, and urges everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who’s driving.

Their campaign was launched almost a decade after hand-held mobiles at the wheel were banned.

One in 11 drivers with points has six points or more for driving distracted and three in four are men.

Six in ten Scottish school children report being driven by a driver talking on a phone and three in four have spotted drivers on mobile phones outside their school or home - suggesting the majority of children are being endangered by drivers for the sake of a call or text.

The tune in to road safety campaign is being launched in Road Safety Week by events and demonstrations in schools, universities and town centres across the UK, highlighting the dangers of taking your eyes, hands or mind off the road. The campaign is being supported by Transport Scotland and Police Scotland.

Fraser Simpson, spokesperson from Brake, said: “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.”