Millions of drivers admit to breaking 'dangerous' motoring rules despite massive risk of fines

Police car

The Department for Transport detailed how 22 people were killed due to mobile-phone-related incidents

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 09/07/2024

- 10:52

Drivers have been banned from using a mobile in a vehicle since 2003

One in five drivers has admitted to breaching a major driving law as more motorists travel dangerously on UK roads.

New research has found that 20 per cent of drivers have acknowledged the fact that they have used a mobile phone while behind the wheel.

If caught using a phone while behind the wheel, drivers could be fined £200 and given up to six penalty points.

But despite the threat of a fine, many drivers ignore the rules and continue to travel irresponsibly in spite of the risks posed to themselves and other road users.

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phone in car

Data shows that 11 million drivers break the law every year


The only exemptions to using a mobile device include making an emergency call or a contactless payment such as at a drive-through restaurant.

Other driving laws broken by motorists include driving barefoot (10 per cent), eating or drinking a non-alcoholic drink (34 per cent) and smoking or vaping (15 per cent) in the vehicle.

Martin Smith, motor claims manager at Aviva, said: “With many about to start their summer holidays, our research shows that a large portion of drivers are taking dangerous risks while behind the wheel of a car.

“Not only does this increase the chance of a collision, it means that you could receive a fine and/or points on your licence which may affect how much you pay for car insurance in the future.”

He added that no matter "how tempting" it is to use their phones, drivers should remove any potential distractions from their cars.

This includes making sure drivers are appropriately dressed and adhere to the strict safety laws in place.

Smith explained that changing a few driving habits can prevent an incident from occurring.

The latest Department for Transport figures found that 22 people were killed and a further 148 were seriously injured in 2022 with using a mobile phone a contributing factor.

A recent study found that more than11 million motorists have admitted to using a mobile device when driving around the UK.

The research outlined how 45 per cent of drivers use their mobile phones daily while just under a third (28 per cent) of drivers said they use their phone once or twice a week.

Looking at rule breakers by demographic, only 14 per cent of those aged under 25 said they had used a phone at the wheel.

In comparison, drivers aged 55 and over were the least likely to check their devices while driving.


Mobile phone car Drivers caught on their phone face a £200 penaltyGETTY

A ban on using a mobile phone while driving was introduced in December 2003 with the punishment for those caught toughened in 2017 and again in 2022.

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