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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Motorists could soon face a 'drive-safe' mode being added to their phones

Phone Driving
Motorists could soon face a 'drive-safe' mode being added to their phones in a Government bid to cut road fatalities.

With nine per cent of drivers admitting to taking a selfie behind the wheel in the past nine months, ministers are considering promoting apps that automatically lock phones when travelling at more than 5mph. The number of drivers taking a selfie was found through an Institute of Advanced Motorists poll. 

Phone manufacturers could even be requested to install the apps as standard.

However, some problems have already been highlighted – namely, making sure that the technology can differentiate between someone driving a car or travelling on public transport – and making sure phones don't cut out for users of the latter.

Officials at the Department for Transport said: "These issues can be overcome."

With nearly 3,700 crashes from 2009-2014 caused by a driver using a phone, the new technology could have a dramatic effect on road safety.

Because of the high amount of incidents involving drivers using phones, a course of re-education for offenders is being considered, with drivers taking part at their own expense.

Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists said "Forcing all drivers caught using a hand-held mobile for the first time to attend a re-education course would be a really positive step."

A study by the RAC Foundation found that 60 per cent of drivers would be happy to use a drive-safe mode should it be created.

RAC Foundation director Steve Gooding told the Press Association: "Reassuringly, the vast majority of people said that they wanted to use technology to check the state of their vehicle and make their journeys easier, not to read Facebook messages, send texts or email the boss."

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