The Transport Select Committee has launched an inquiry into the role mobile phones play on road safety.
This short inquiry has been launched because, although fatal road collisions fell by 40% during 2007-2012, the figures have now plateaued, with no reductions recorded for the last five years.
It follows recent research in the National Travel Survey which revealed worrying details about how a quarter of road users thought it safe to use mobile phones whilst behind the wheel in stationary traffic.
This is despite the fact that almost two thirds of respondents acknowledged use of mobile phones – even via use of a hands-free kit – is dangerous.
Road safety is of paramount importance, with businesses and fleet operators expected to ensure they are doing their utmost to make sure road users are safe.
It is something the Transport Select Committee believes is important, given that, since April 24, more than hundred pieces of written evidence have been published covering a wide range of safety issues.
This will extend to a series of sessions and short inquiries exploring different areas of road safety where the Department for Transport (DfT) could make a serious impact.
The Committee will consider the use of mobile phones by drivers and the risks posed by this; adequacy of legislation relating to mobile phone use by motorists; and how enforcement and education around usage of mobile phones by motorists can be improved.
Initiatives such as Vision Zero are aiming to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from road collisions by 2041, and this inquiry will look into another serious risk to road safety.
Lilian Greenwood, Chair of the Transport Committee, said: “Research shows that using a hand-held mobile phone impairs driving more than being above the drink drive limit.
“In 2017, mobile phone use was a contributory factor in collisions leading to 773 casualties, including 43 fatalities. This is clearly unacceptable.”