Fewer than half of van drivers use handsfree or Bluetooth technology while driving and are continuing to risk a £200 fine and six penalty points for making calls on the go.
The shocking finding is revealed in a new study by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. It shows that the average worker makes seven calls a day while driving (spending an average of 37 minutes on the phone for work each day) – and just 41% are using handsfree and Bluetooth tech on a frequent basis.
It’s not just making calls, either – 17% of van drivers in the UK admit to sending and receiving texts, checking e-mails or posting on social media while driving.
Last year, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles revealed 23 per cent of drivers don’t even have a handsfree kit in their van.
The study comes three years after tougher laws were introduced to clamp down on mobile phone use behind the wheel. The legislation includes not only making calls, but also texting, taking selfies or posting on social media.
Since March 2017, drivers have faced a fine of £200 and a six penalty points, meaning being caught twice is enough to get a licence revoked.
“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,” said Claire English, Head of Fleet at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
“Despite carrying a hefty punishment, it lacks the taboo of other offences such as drink-driving and this needs to change.”
To help, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles fits a Bluetooth hands-free kit as standard across its entire model range, and for complete customer convenience, the brand’s vehicles also offer App Connect (wireless on the recently launched Transporter 6.1) which allow access to certain apps on the move and include the facility to dictate and listen to text or WhatsApp messages without taking their eyes off the road.