Government calls for road blocks for phones

The government is meeting with mobile phone manufacturers to discuss blocking software within cars.

A recent report found the majority of the public would back such a move, with many admitting they couldn’t help themselves from picking up their phones while driving.

Ministers are proposing a drive safe mode within phones, which will only allow emergency calls and calls from designated people. There is also the possibility of automatically blocking the phone using GPS technology if certain speeds are reached.

The first meeting is scheduled for early 2017.

This comes after the RAC’s Report on Motoring 2016 said the problem is at ‘epidemic proportions’ with 48% of motorists admitted to using a handheld phone at the wheel to talk, text or use other apps.

The government has already introduced much stricter penalties for drivers caught on their phones, which will come into effect next spring. Penalty points will double from three to six while fines will increase from £100 to £200.

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said, ‘We need a comprehensive package of actions to tackle the problem at every level, from the stronger penalties due next year, to tougher enforcement, combined with a greater focus on engaging drivers themselves on the issue in an effort to make them want to change their own behaviour – and in turn make our roads safer.’