Stoke commuters concerned over ‘tougher restrictions’ for using hands-free devices

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Drivers in Stoke-on-Trent have expressed concerns after MPs called for the Government to consider imposing a ban on drivers using hands-free devices.

The Commons Transport Select Committee have said that current laws banning the use of mobile phones at the wheel give a ‘misleading impression’ that hands-free options are safer.

Chair of the Committee, Lilian Greenwood MP, said: “There is also a misleading impression that hands-free use is safe. The reality is that any use of a phone distracts from a driver’s ability to pay full attention and the Government should consider extending the ban to reflect this.”

However, in a new report from the committee, they have outlined that using hands-free options create ‘the same risks of collision’ as using handheld devices.

Stoke-on-Trent commuter, Klaudia Tomkowiak, said: “I use my phone as my sat-nav when I drive and even new cars are built in with YouTube so I don’t see how this ban is going to be enforced.”

Penalties for using mobile phones at the wheel were made tougher in 2017 but are still not appropriate compared to the risk created by people using them.

Commuters and business could be severely affected if a ban was imposed

The report has called on the Government to work with police to boost enforcement and make better use of technology.

Joshua Harris, of road safety charity Brake, said they “welcome the calls from MPs in the Transport Committee to tackle the dangers of phone use behind the wheel.

“All phone use behind the wheel is dangerous, and we need the law to reflect this by banning the use of hands-free devices.”

In 2017, there were 773 casualties, including 43 deaths and 135 serious injuries, in collisions where a driver using a mobile phone was a contributory factor.

Are you a commuter or business owner that relies on hands-free devices? Let us know how you would be affected by tweeting us @StaffsLive or on our StaffsLive Facebook

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