None. In simple terms, if one can afford a car telephone, one can afford a hands-free microphone. It is not safe to hold a telephone when driving.
Is my hon. Friend aware that concerns have been expressed following the practice of drivers using telephones while proceeding along motorways or turning corners? Does he agree that such practices are dangerous? Is he satisfied that the present law would meet those points, because I am not?
The answer is yes. However, I welcome the opportunity of repeating the advice in the Highway Code which is: do not use a hand-held telephone when driving.
May I tell the Minister that anyone in a car who is holding a telephone and talking into it looks a right wally anyway? Before becoming too involved in the subject, will the Minister tell us what evidence he has, if any, of accidents that have occurred as a result of people driving and using a telephone at the same time? Is there any empirical evidence?
There is anecdotal evidence. A BBC radio taxi was taking me to a high hill in Guildford and, with a hand on the microphone, the driver went through a red light.
If my hon. Friend's criterion for the use of a hands-free set is the fact that it is not safe to use a telephone in the hand in the car, will he take steps to ban smoking in cars?
Wiser politicians than I have said that one needs to work by common agreement whenever possible. There is common agreement on the dangers of holding a telephone when driving a car.