Van drivers ignoring mobile phone laws

More than half of van drivers admitted to making calls behind the wheel without using a hands-free device, according to new research from Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

The survey reveals that, on average, van drivers spend an average of 35 minutes on the phone each day in their vehicles, making an average of seven calls a day.

One in 10 spend two hours on the phone while driving during the working day.

The results of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ investigation comes two years on from tougher laws governing the use of mobile phones.

Since March 2017, driving while using a device – including making calls, texting, taking selfies or posting on social media – has carried a fine of £200 and a six penalty point endorsement on your licence. Being caught twice is enough to have your licence revoked.

However, many are risking breaking the law by not having a hands-free kit in their vans (23%) or failing to use the technology even if their vehicle is fully-equipped (33%).

Just over a quarter (27%) said their vehicle was fitted with hands-free and they always use it to make phone calls while driving.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles offers a Bluetooth hands-free kit as standard across its entire model range. Sarah Cox, head of marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “Our figures show that many van drivers don’t have or aren’t using a Bluetooth hands-free kit behind the wheel – risking not only a fine and potential ban, which would damage business, but, more seriously, a potentially fatal accident.

“As part of our Working With You promise we ensure all our customers have the right accessories and equipment to make their jobs as easy and safe as possible, whether that’s offering flexible van servicing or something as simple as a hands-free kit as standard.”

Recent Government statistics reveal nearly half a million drivers still use their phones behind the wheel while phone distraction is listed as a contributory factor in over 30 deaths annually.

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  • Patrick Lewis - 20/03/2019 09:34

    the use of the mobile phone can be very handy at times, nearly every car has blue tooth but most 7.5tonne trucks don't come with sat nav or Bluetooth and maybe the manufacturers should put these in regardless even central locking is not included admittedly the smaller vans now have all the above which is great, but if your an old fart like me using your phone in the late 80's and 90's was common and when this technology started being used the ban on using these phones should have been done then, all the trucks in our business has this and we make sure they use it. the people I see using there phones are women picking there kids up from school and not much is said about that but the moment a van driver is court the world and everybody else knows. what would be nice is that all of us owners and also the van manufactures made sure that all the phone linked to the vans and that the drivers had phones that worked on the system. it does sound shocking that drivers are making phone calls but customers want service now so really what choice do we have.

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