21 May 2014

Hands-Free Prosecution Warning

Many drivers are finding that using a handsfree device while on the phone in the car may not be enough to protect them from prosecution if they are in a collision.

Find out more about the Duty of Care you have to your drivers to ensure they have the correct information before driving. Legal experts are warning that Fleet Managers  and their drivers could fall foul of the law if they are involved in a collision while using a hands-free phone.The warning comes in the wake of new research that shows hands-free use has increased from 22% in 2006 to 38% today.

Richard Silver, a motoring offences solicitor, said: “Although many people believe that using a hands-free device will protect them from prosecution, unfortunately the law isn’t quite that simple.”

Activa would like to advise drivers that if you are involved in a collision while using a hands-free device, you may still be open to prosecution for not being in proper control of the vehicle, or even for dangerous or careless driving. If the accident is serious, the driver could face a custodial term, even if the use of the mobile device didn’t cause the incident.

Some major industry charities have called for a total ban on mobile use while driving, arguing that the Government now needs to get involved to help prevent such incidents.

Many other fleet operators are not entirely convinced that a complete ban on mobile use within a vehicle would help prevent accidents.  More than two-thirds of respondents to a poll believed a ban would reduce their company’s turnover by more than 25%.  But more than 60% acknowledged that the use of a hands-free device while driving does distract drivers, with one in five (21.4%) agreeing that they can contribute to serious accidents.
Activa would like to remind drivers to ensure prudence when using their hands-free and would also like to remind Fleet Managers that they have a duty of care to educate drivers on best practise.

For more information on this or any other subject relating to company cars please speak to one of our industry experts on 0845 601 3497