Campaign to turn off mobile phone when driving

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A campaign launched today (18th November 2013) by the charity Brake at the start of Road Safety Week calls on drivers across the North West 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

It’s being launched almost a decade after hand-held mobiles at the wheel were banned and coincides with a week-long enforcement campaign.

•More than 67,000 North West drivers have points on their licence for using their mobile phone at the wheel or being otherwise distracted (postcode breakdown).

•One in 15 (6.7%) of these drivers have six points or more for driving distracted and four in five (78%) are male;

•Six in ten North West school children (61%) report being driven by a driver talking on a phone and eight in 10 (82%) 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.

Distraction reduces hazard perception and increases reaction times in a similar way to drink-driving, making drivers much more likely to cause deaths and injuries. Drivers who think they can multi-task are fooling themselves: research shows 98% are unable to divide their time without it affecting performance.

Talking on a phone hand-held or hands free, texting, emailing, adjusting sat navs, eating, drinking and smoking are all proven to increase crash risk.

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