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October 3, 2011

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Drivers urged to turn mobiles off while at the wheel

Road safety charity Brake and insurance firm Direct Line have joined forces to launch a new campaign to warn drivers about the dangers of using mobile phones while driving.

A survey by Direct Line revealed that almost three in 10 drivers text at the wheel and eight per cent do this at least once a week. One in 11 drivers admitted to either using the internet, e-mails, mobile apps, or social networking sites while driving.

With the increasing popularity of smartphones, both Brake and Direct Line are concerned that the number of road accidents caused by drivers who are distracted by mobiles will increase. They are calling on drivers to either turn off their phones or put them out of reach when they are driving.

Brake campaigns director Julie Townsend said: “People who text, use the Web or social networking when driving are taking enormous risks with their own and other people’s lives. This kind of irresponsible behaviour is illegal and it kills, so there should be no excuses. We are concerned that the increasing uptake of this technology could lead to more crashes and casualties caused by distracted drivers, as is happening in the US.

“It is vital that the Government acts now to prevent an upsurge in distracted driving, and it’s vital that drivers listen to these warnings and make a pledge to never use their phone when driving.”

Direct Line Car Insurance spokesperson Frances Browning added: “No call, or text is that important to risk your own life, or the lives of others. The way to reduce any temptation to use your phone, or answer a call, is simple: switch it off when you’re behind the wheel.”

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