RHA issues warning on using phones while driving
28 January 2016
The Road Haulage Association welcomes the Department of Transport’s consultation proposing increased fixed penalty notices, associated fines and penalty points for the drivers of heavy goods vehicles and other motorists caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
“Far too many road accidents, some resulting in death, are due to driver distraction and we believe that the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving ranks high on the list,” said RHA chief executive Richard Burnett.
“This proposed legislation sends a clear message to motorists and HGV drivers that if they are caught, the fines will be considerable and for many, could have a real impact on their ability to work.”
A survey carried out by the RHA in 2015 found that 10% of haulage companies have a policy to dismiss drivers found guilty of hand-held mobile phone offences. However, the whole industry sees this as a serious issue.
“We see the proposed increase in fixed penalty points from 3 to 6 for HGV drivers caught committing this offence as a step in the right direction,” continued Richard Burnett. “The RHA has many members looking for a hard line approach on hand-held mobile phone use. They will welcome these proposals as they will help them to maintain standards throughout their fleet.
“However, as with any legislation designed to deter, the proposed measures will only have an impact if they are effectively policed. Unfortunately, since 2010, roads policing numbers have fallen by 23%.
“The RHA represents professional road hauliers and they will welcome this measure. I want to pay tribute to their great professionalism; they do a fantastic job, often in difficult circumstances but always with a strong commitment to road safety.”