Drivers using hands-free phones could face £1,000 fine
The Transport Committee is calling on the government to extend the ban on hand-held devices, which has been in place since 2003, to hands-free phones.
Under current law, drivers caught using a phone at the wheel face up to six penalty points and a fine of up to a £1,000.
Chair of the Committee, Lilian Greenwood, said: “There is 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.”
The MPs also want the government to extend the current laws on hand-held mobiles to cover drivers sending or receiving data.
They also want penalties to be reviewed and potentially increased.
Greenwood said: “If mobile phone use while driving is to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving much more effort needs to go into educating drivers about the risks and consequences of using a phone behind the wheel.
“Offenders also need to know there is a credible risk of being caught, and that there are serious consequences for being caught.”
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. The number of people killed or seriously injured has risen steadily since 2011.