Mobile phones could become useless in moving cars as government considers new blocking technology

Campaigners say texting, checking emails, and making calls while driving should become as socially uacceptable as not wearing a seat belt or drink-driving

Charlotte England
Monday 19 December 2016 10:44 GMT
Almost one in three drivers admit to having used their phone at the wheel in the past year
Almost one in three drivers admit to having used their phone at the wheel in the past year

Mobile phones could be set to automatically stop working in moving cars, making it impossible for drivers to text, call, or send emails at the wheel.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is reportedly considering implementing new technology that would block phone signal for drivers.

The software would make mobiles virtually useless by disabling any function that requires internet access or connection to a telephone network.

A family want you to see this footage of a man who killed a mother and three children to stop you using a mobile while driving

Ministers are to meet car manufacturers and mobile companies in the new year to discuss the plan.

The move comes after almost one in three motorists admitted to having used their phone while driving, and 17,500 people were taken to court last year.

Campaigners have said they want to change attitudes towards texting and driving; in an RAC survey, a fifth of motorists said they believed it was safe to check social media and send text messages while sitting in traffic, despite it being against the law.

Earlier this week, Victims' Commissioner Baroness Newlove, said: “It is time to make using a mobile phone while driving just as unacceptable as not wearing a seat belt or drink-driving.

“We need better education and hardhitting messages to ensure the next generation know what could happen.”

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A DfT spokesman said: “We are determined to crack down on mobile phone use at the wheel,

“Our plans to double penalties for this serious crime should act as an incredibly strong deterrent.

“We will continue to explore what more can be done to tackle this crime.”

Smartphone manufacturers have also been urged to create a 'drive safe' mode - similar to the 'flight mode' option, which will block calls, texts and emails and avoid drivers being distracted.

The government has already cracked down on mobile phone use in cars by introducing tougher penalties for anyone who uses their phone behind the wheel.

This includes automatic bans for new drivers, a fine of £200 and six penalty points.

And if the offence results in a death then a driver can be jailed for life.

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