We know that using your phone can feel important at the time but any activity which takes a driver’s concentration away from the road is dangerous.
In 2019, there were two direct fatal collisions in Scotland linked to mobile phone use. There was a further two serious, and five slight collisions. The hurt of the families and friends of those involved cannot be measured.
What to do
Any activity which takes a driver’s concentration away from the road is potentially dangerous and we encourage everyone to acknowledge driving as a skill which requires concentration and judgement. We want every driver in Scotland to drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions and not use their phone behind the wheel or be distracted.
The extra amount of mental workload and cognitive functions that drivers’ brains have to do to use a phone while driving does two things:
- It reduces their reflexes (mental)
- It slows reaction times (physical)
This creating a major road safety risk. Keep our roads safe. Put your phone away while driving.
The Scottish Government has devolved powers over many areas, but mobile phone use while driving is currently reserved to the UK Government.
The Department for Transport (DfT) recently announced changes to the legislation; the changes means activities like taking photos and playing games on hand-held mobile phones while driving will become illegal.
The Scottish Government welcome any steps that will lead to fewer drivers being distracted by their phones while they are behind the wheel.
The current penalties for a hand-held mobile phone being used whilst driving are a £200 fine, plus six penalty points on your licence.
Note: Drivers can be disqualified if they collect 12 penalty points in three years.
Campaigns to change behaviour
Road Safety Scotland have released campaigns dealing with in-car distractions. The campaign ‘Drive like Gran’s in the Car’ has been used to raise awareness of the dangers of mobile phone use while behind the wheel.