SPAIN and the UK have some of the highest fines for using hand-held mobile phones while driving in Europe – but even so many motorists remain undeterred by the penalties.
IAM RoadSmart has discovered almost 12,000 drivers a year still being prosecuted for the offence.
A new survey from top German motoring organisation ADAC shows many European countries have relatively low financial punishments for using a hand-held phone while driving – Bulgaria, Iceland, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic all have fines of under €100.
You can be fined up to €100 in Germany, France €135 and Italy €160 Euros.
At the equivalent of around €225 UK fines are only beaten by Holland (€230) and just pip Spain and Denmark at €200 Euros.
Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer, said, “Motorists need to make the connection that using a hand-held phone is a major distraction to the task of driving. There is no such thing as multi-tasking when it comes to driving – when you drive, there is nothing else you should be doing.
“Handheld mobile phone use is a top concern for British drivers and heavy fines and extra points are a key part of the government strategy to combat it. Clearly, this is not enough and unless selfish drivers fear that they will be caught, far too many will continue to flout the law.
“What we want to see is a combination of effective penalties, more personal and corporate responsibility and vehicle, smartphone and social media companies working together to generate hi-tech solutions to the distractions caused by their technology.
“No call is worth risking your own or someone else’s life for. Remember, make the glove box the phone box and put temptation out of reach,” she added.