7 in 10 motorists support changes to mobile driving laws

7 in 10 motorists support changes to mobile driving laws

Posted 20 February, 2019 at 15:11

Author Mark Bradshaw on behalf of (IFM) Independent Forecourt Magazine


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Two thirds of Brits believe using in-car tech is as distracting as being on your phone 

The UK's biggest online garage and car repair marketplace has revealed that nearly two thirds (65%) of British drivers believe in-car tech such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and sat navs are just as distracting as phones. This comes after the site surveyed its one million users to ask for their opinions.

The UK's biggest online garage and car repair marketplace has revealed that nearly two thirds (65%) of British drivers believe in-car tech such as Apple CarPlay and sat navs are just as distracting as phones. 

On top of this, the survey also found that seven out of ten British drivers (69%) don't think penalties for being on your phone whilst your car is stationary should be the same as when you're driving. The law in the UK states that if the car is running and you are on your phone, you could get six points and be subject to a fine - regardless of whether you are moving or stationary.

WhoCanFixMyCar.com's survey found that most people believe the penalties should be lower if your car is stationary, and 65% of people believed that using in-car technology such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and sat navs whilst in motion is just as distracting as a phone and should be subject to the same penalties.

Following the results, WhoCanFixMyCar.com is trying to determine whether public opinion would support a revision of the laws surrounding driving whilst on your phone, as well as laws around in-car tech. WhoCanFixMyCar.com is now asking members of the public to give their opinion on whether there should be harsher penalties imposed for using in-car tech whilst driving, as well as whether there should be increased leniency for drivers using their phone while pulled over or stationary.

Members of the public interested in getting involved with the campaign can do so here: https://www.whocanfixmycar.com/blog/car-tech-distract-drivers/

The survey also asked drivers if they had ever used their phone behind the wheel, with more than a quarter (30%) of respondents answering 'yes'. After a freedom of information request at the start of 2018, it was revealed that 30,470 fixed penalty notices were handed out for phone use at the wheel in 2017, down from 46,594 in 2016 - a reduction of 39 per cent. 

This came after the government imposed a higher fine and points penalty on drivers caught using their mobile phones, which came into effect in March 2017.

WhoCanFixMyCar.com is an online car garage and repair marketplace connecting more than 12,000 garage and repair centres with drivers around the UK. The site has 1 million users and has recently processed more than 170,000 quotes through the site in one month.

Al Preston, co-founder of WhoCanFixMyCar.com, said,

"Using your phone whilst driving puts yourself and others at great risk, and it's something which has been debated massively over the last two years since the new penalties were put in place. It was surprising to see how many people believed that the penalty for using your phone whilst stationary should be lower. 

We weren't surprised, however, that so many people considered in-car tech as distracting as using your mobile phone - especially with features like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto which effectively gives you access to every feature on your iPhone through the car's dashboard."

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