Research reveals callous attitude towards mobile phone use while driving

Over two million car passengers would have no problem with their driver using a hand-held phone while driving, new research for the AA Charitable Trust showed.

The trust today started a hard-hitting campaign to try to change attitudes and behaviours around driver distraction.

This year had so far seen 57 fatalities in crashes on the roads of Lincolnshire.

Jonathan Robert Harris, 22, of Stamford was killed in July when his car careered and crashed 40 metres off a road in Market Deeping after he was distracted  by his mobile phone.

According to a police crash investigator, it was evident he was sending text messages while driving but it was not known if he stopped to reply to those texts.

At an inquest, coroner Marianne Johnson warned other motorists of the risks of using mobile phones while driving saying, "We have had a lot of publicity about mobile phones. My message would be for people not to use their mobile phone while driving. Put them away and turn them off.

"Any slight distraction can cause a catastrophic accident. Mobile phones have no place being turned on in your car."

Also seven-year-old Seth Dixon died after being hit by a car driven by Amy Asker. Asker was on her mobile phone, as he crossed a road in Tydd Gote, on the Lincolnshire border, in December, 2014.

The government plans to increase the penalties for using a mobile at the wheel to six penalty points and a £200 fine but, according to the AA Trust changing behaviour was just as important.

A total of 24,620 people were killed or seriously injured in the year ending June 2016, up 3 per cent as against the previous year.

In the same period, deaths of car occupants were up 9 per cent and pedestrians by 3 per cent.