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Van drivers still risking fine and penalty points by shunning hands-free tech

Van drivers still risking fine and penalty points by shunning hands-free tech

By Swansway Motor Group 17-03-2020

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Under half of all UK van drivers are currently using hands-free or Bluetooth technology when taking calls behind the wheel, with those not using them risking penalty points and fines.

Figures released by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles found that just 41 per cent of van drivers use hands-free tech – with the average driver making 7 calls a day totalling 37 minutes in duration.

A further 17 per cent admitted to sending and checking texts and emails, or posting on social media.

Volkswagen Commercial commissioned the 1,000-driver survey, which also found that drivers from London, Yorkshire and the Humber, and the North East were the most likely to use hands-free assistance. Scottish van drivers were twice as likely to not use technology.

Claire English, head of fleet at Volkswagen Commercial, said: “Mobile phone use behind the wheel is a topic that we’ve been monitoring for the past couple of years and the recent statistics show it is still a huge safety problem on UK roads. Despite carrying a hefty punishment, it lacks the taboo of other offences such as drink-driving and this needs to change.

“As part of our Working With You promise, we’re committed to improving safety on UK roads for both our customers and other road users, always ensuring we provide the right equipment for the job, for example offering Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) and a handsfree kit as standard across the range.”

Since March 2017, UK drivers have faced fines of £200 and six penalty points if found not using hands-free technology – meaning just two offences are enough to get your licence revoked. These punishments are much tougher than the previous set that were in place beforehand.

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