Driving: Mobile Phones

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 12 December 2016.

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Photo of Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Baroness Jones of Moulsecoomb Green

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what research they have conducted, and what discussions they have had with mobile phone providers, about the inclusion of software in mobile phones that would automatically shut phones down when a person is driving.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The Government’s Road Safety Statement published in December 2015 committed to increase the fixed penalty notice for using a mobile phone when driving. A public consultation closed in March 2016 and the response published 8 November 2016. Legislation to increase the fixed penalty notice to 6 points (from 3 points) was laid before Parliament on 8 November. The fixed penalty fine will increase to £200 (from £100). The new rules are expected to come in in spring 2017 accompanied by a THINK! Campaign to alert drivers to the new rules and raise awareness of the danger of using a mobile when driving.

Specifically regarding drive safe modes on mobile phones, no government research has been commissioned but we are aware of the RAC Foundation report published in August. It explored how drive safe modes were being considered as part of product design for both vehicles and devices. The government will shortly be meeting with the mobile phone providers and manufacturers to consider drive safe modes, or other practical applications, when a person is driving.

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