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  4. 1.27 Mobile phone use while driving: enforcement and education

1.27 Mobile phone use while driving: enforcement and education

Academic team: Dr Gemma Briggs, Prof Graham Pike
Policing partners: N/A
Status: Complete


Research into the effects of mobile phone use on driving performance has demonstrated serious implications for driver safety. Dual tasking drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a crash than undistracted drivers, and hands-free phone use offers no safety benefit over hand-held.

Whilst hand-held mobile phone use has been illegal in the UK since 2003, and new tougher laws were introduced in 2017, the law does not recognise the dangers of hands-free phone use. Increasing numbers of drivers admit to using their phones and despite innovative enforcement initiatives, many go unchallenged. Notably, for those caught using their phones, no education course is offered to help reduce future offending.

This project aims to identify what education was previously available to drivers in relation to mobile phone offences (prior to 2017), and if police forces feel some kind of education may be beneficial. Project outputs will inform the creation of educational resources which will be freely available to the general public.



Title Outputs type Lead academic Year
Taking the right course: The possibilities and challenges of offering alternatives to prosecution for drivers detected using mobile phones while driving Journal article Savigar-Shaw, L 2022
The inconvenient truth about mobile phone distraction: Understanding the means, motive and opportunity for driver resistance to legal and safety messages Journal article Wells, H 2021
Drivers and hand-held mobile phones: Extending the ban won't solve the problem - here's why Coversation piece Briggs, G 2021
Report on the design, piloting, amendment and delivery of new Speed Awareness Course feedback survey instruments Technical report Briggs, G 2021
Are you driven to distraction? Course Briggs, G 2020
Insight from data on course feedback data in online and f2f delivery models Technical report Wells, H 2020
Are you a focused driver? Course Briggs, G 2019
Found out how using your phone can affect your behaviour when driving Journal article Briggs, G 2017



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