Van drivers break the law (and maybe their necks too)

More than half of van drivers in the United Kingdom (UK) have admitted to making calls behind the wheel without using a hands-free device. This is the finding of a research study by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

According to the study, van drivers in the UK spend an average of 35 minutes on the phone each day in their vehicles, making an average of seven calls a day. One in ten spend two hours on the phone while driving during the working day.

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 (about R3 800) and a six penalty-point licence endorsement in the UK. Being caught twice can result in the licence being revoked.

However, many van drivers are risking breaking the law by not having a hands-free kit in their vans (23 percent) or failing to use the technology even if their vehicle is fully equipped (33 percent). Just over a quarter (27 percent) said their vehicle was fitted with a hands-free device and they always use it to make phone calls while driving.

I wonder what the equivalent statistics would be in South Africa. Judging by the number of idiots I see on their mobile phones on our roads each day, I suspect that the situation could be even more dire here.

Published by

Charleen Clarke

CHARLEEN CLARKE is editorial director of FOCUS. While she is based in Johannesburg, she spends a considerable amount of time overseas, attending international transport events – largely in her capacity as associate member of the International Truck of the Year Jury.
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