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Mobile phone and seat belt usage report published

25 February 2015

The Transport Research Laboratory concluded its mobile phone survey research in November 2014. The surveys were looking at the prevalence of illegal mobile phone use while driving as well as the degree to which seatbelts are worn in England and Scotland.

The results of this survey show:

  • In 2014, 1.1 per cent of drivers in England and Scotland were observed holding a phone in their hand with a further 0.5 per cent observed holding the phone to their ear – this equates to more than 470,000 motorists.
  • A higher proportion of drivers in England and Scotland were observed using a hand-held mobile phone when stationary (2.3 per cent) than in moving traffic (1.6 per cent).
  • More men than women use a hand-held phone, and that van drivers were the most likely group to be seen doing it at 2.7% - almost twice the rate for car drivers. 5.2 % of young drivers aged 17 to 29 were seen holding a mobile phone making them by far the biggest group by age.
  • 98.2 per cent of car drivers were observed using seat belts in
    England and Scotland 
  • Seat belt wearing rates were lower for other car occupants
    compared to car drivers. 96.7 per cent of all front seat
    passengers and 90.6 per cent of all rear seat passengers
    were observed using seat belts or child restraints in England and
    Scotland.

Commenting on the results Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said, “The results are very disappointing but not at all surprising. Campaigners routinely talk about the inherent dangers of the distraction caused by mobile phone usage, but drivers never believe they will be caught. Campaigns run by THINK! and the Department for Transport need to be revived and invigorated with stronger messages for new drivers and van users. Mobile phone usage at the wheel can kill – there’s no two ways about it.”

The full report can be downloaded here:

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