14% (5 million) of drivers readily admit to still using handheld mobile phones behind the wheel
November 29th, 2004 – On 1st December it will be one year since the introduction of the in-car mobile legislation and although all drivers are now fully aware of the legislation, it has emerged that many are still regularly flouting the law. A survey commissioned by Jabra, the leading brand of handsfree solutions for the mobile consumer market, found that as many as 14% of drivers in Great Britain, which accounts for five million people, readily admit to still using their handheld mobile phones while driving.
· 100% of drivers questioned were aware of the legislation
· 14% of drivers admitted to driving while using a handheld mobile phone
· Men are more likely to ignore the legislation (17% admitted to doing so, compared to 10% of women drivers)
· Only 0.25% of drivers surveyed had been fined or warned by the police for ignoring the legislation since its introduction
· 10% of drivers surveyed would take the law more seriously and either buy a hands-free device or stop using their phones while driving if the government was to introduce harsher penalties
· 93% of respondents believe that the mobile phone legislation is important in terms of improving road safety
· 59% said they would report other drivers for flouting the law if there was a system in place to do so
Introduced in December 2003, the current legislation states that drivers cannot use a handheld mobile phone while driving. If caught using their phone behind the wheel, drivers currently face a minimum fine of £30 or conviction of up to £1000 if taken to court.
The results of Jabra’s survey suggest that the legislation penalties are not severe enough to make all drivers stop using their mobile phones while driving. It is also clear that the risk of getting caught is perceived as being very low, with only 0.25% of questioned drivers having been fined or warned by the police for this offence in the last year.
When told about the government’s plans to increase the penalties to an on the spot fine of £100 and possible points if taken to court, 10% of all drivers (which accounts for the majority of drivers still admitting to ignoring the ban currently) said this would encourage them to alter their behaviour and either buy a hands-free device or stop using the phone in the car altogether.
In spite of those drivers who still require the threat of harsher penalties to convince them to adopt safer driving practices, the majority of the population fully supports the legislation. 93% of people surveyed feel the legislation is important in terms of improving road safety: 30% of those believe it is absolutely ‘critical’. The majority of drivers surveyed (59%) felt so strongly about the legislation that they would go as far as reporting other drivers for flouting the law if there was a system in place to do so.
Ben Bushell, Country Manager, Jabra UK and Ireland commented:
“While our research shows that the majority of people are supportive of the mobile driving legislation, there is still a large proportion that admits to, and probably many more who don’t admit to, completely ignoring the ban. It is apparent on the roads everyday that driving while talking into a hand-held mobile phone dramatically impairs ones ability to drive safely. Jabra fully supports the proposed plans by the government to introduce harsher penalties, giving police more power and helping to ensure that drivers take the legislation more seriously.”
The research found that men favoured Bluetooth headsets, with 14% of male drivers surveyed having bought them already. 7% of women have also chosen a Bluetooth solution.
Jabra has a range of hands-free solutions to suit all tastes, including corded and Bluetooth headsets and a Bluetooth speaker-phone device. Jabra recently reduced the price of its best selling Bluetooth headsets to make them more accessible for all consumers - the BT200 provides up 3 hours talk time and 96 hours standby time and is now priced at £39.99. The BT250 offers 8 hours talk time and 240 hours standby time allowing you to be hands and cord free all day and is now priced at £59.99.
A sample of 1,189 British adults aged 16-64 was surveyed via the internet from 19th – 21st October 2004 for this research, which was conducted by TNS Global on behalf of Jabra, the mobile brand of GN Netcom. Results were only gathered from the 751 respondents who were car drivers and had a mobile phone. The sample has been weighted to represent the adult population of Great Britain aged 16-64.
The Bluetooth wireless technology is aimed at allowing users to make effortless, fast connections between various communications devices, such as headsets, mobile phones and desktop & notebook computers. The Bluetooth wireless technology operates on a globally available frequency band intended to ensure communication compatibility worldwide. For further information about Bluetooth please visit http://www.bluetooth.com.
Jabra is the foremost brand in innovative hands-free communication products for the mobile consumer market. Jabra products are available at more than 70,000 retailers worldwide, including key national GSM operators, key consumer electronic chains and mobile phone specialists. Jabra is part of GN Netcom. More information can be found on the website at www.jabra.com.
About GN Netcom
GN Netcom is a world leader in hands-free communication technologies. The company develops, manufactures and markets a broad portfolio of corded as well as wireless headsets and related products through its two market focused divisions: Contact Center & Office Division and Mobile Division. The Contact Center & Office Division, under the GN Netcom brand, provides solutions covering the hands-free communication needs of professionals working in contact centres and offices. The Mobile Division provides innovative hands-free solutions under the Jabra brand for users of mobile devices. For information about products please visit http://www.gnnetcom.com.
GN Netcom is part of GN Store Nord, a global market leader in personal communications. GN Store Nord is traded on the Copenhagen Stock Exchange (Reuters: GN.CO; Bloomberg: GGNDF). For more information, please visit http://www.gn.com.
For more information:
Tel: + 44 208 339 4420
Jabra® is a registered trademark of GN Netcom. All other trademarks included herein are the property of their respective owners. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are owned by the Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks by GN Netcom is under license.
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