Northern Ireland

Charity calls for brake on dialling drivers

Man using phone while driving
Image caption It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone or similar device while driving.

Six in every 10 children in Northern Ireland have been driven by someone using a mobile phone, the road safety charity, Brake, has said.

It is illegal in the UK to use a hand-held mobile phone or similar device while driving.

But a survey carried out by Brake suggests that despite repeated road safety warnings, many motorists are still phoning and texting on the road.

The charity warned that this was causing a lot of accidents.

Its survey found that eight in 10 children had spotted drivers on mobile phones outside their school or home.

In 2012, more than 5,000 drivers in Northern Ireland were issued with a fixed penalty notice for using a phone at the wheel, the charity said.

In their campaign launched to coincide with the start of Road Safety Week, Brake appealed to drivers across Northern Ireland to tune into road safety, to prevent crashes caused by multitasking at the wheel.

The campaign appeals to drivers to turn off their phones or put them in the boot and urges everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who is driving.

Last year more than 5,000 drivers in Northern Ireland were issued with a fixed penalty notice for using a phone at the wheel.

But road safety campaigners said even more severe fines were needed.

According to the Department for Transport, using a mobile phone while driving means you are "four times more likely to crash".

The Tune into Road Safety campaign is being launched in Road Safety Week with events and demonstrations in schools, universities and town centres across the UK.

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