A motorist has been caught using his cell phone – also known as “distracted driving” – nine times in the past four years, an investigation found.
The person who was not identified was among 932 British drivers convicted more than once of the CU80 crime, figures from the PA news agency revealed.
27 drivers were caught between three and five times, 904 were caught twice and 90,057 were caught once.
The statistics released by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) in response to a freedom of information request have been described as “alarming” by road safety activists.
They are a snapshot of the number of CU80 endorsements in driving records on November 13th.
The notices are given to drivers who have been convicted of not having full control of their vehicle, for example by illegally using a phone.
Jason Wakeford, Brake’s Road Safety Charity Campaign Manager, said, “Driving is one of the most dangerous things we do every day and it takes full focus to do it safely.
“It is alarming to see that repeat offenders who have had ample opportunity to change their behavior are still out on the streets, endangering other people.
“We believe that drivers who regularly violate the law should have their license revoked. This would help save lives, avoid unnecessary injuries and send a clear message that driving a car is a privilege and not a right. “
RAC traffic safety spokesman Simon Williams said, “Using a portable cell phone while driving is illegal and dangerous and, like drink-driving, ruins life.
“Unfortunately, these figures show that far too many drivers are still breaking the law and unnecessarily endangering others in traffic.
“Worryingly, the RAC’s research shows that a quarter of drivers still use handhelds to make or receive calls while driving, and an incredibly small but significant proportion even admit to filming videos or playing games behind the wheel.”
People who have received CU80s endorsements also receive three to six penalty points.
Most drivers will be disqualified from the counting process for at least six months if they earn 12 or more points within three years.
However, it is at the discretion of the courts to allow offenders to continue driving if they can demonstrate extenuating circumstances, even if a ban would cause extreme financial hardship.
CU80s will remain in the driving records for four years from the date of the violation.
The DVLA said that only 506 of the 90,989 motorists with the endorsements were disqualified as a result.
It was not known whether the person with nine CU80s was a banned person.
Separate statistics from the Department of Transport show that in 2020 accidents on UK roads involving a driver with a mobile phone killed 17 people and seriously injured 114.
More than one in six were either a pedestrian or a cyclist, which underscores the threat to vulnerable road users from drivers who are busy with telephones.
Carol Boardman, the 75-year-old mother of Olympic cycling gold medalist Chris Boardman, died in July 2016 when she was hit by a pickup truck whose driver had ended a call on his cell phone seconds earlier. She had fallen off her bike in a small roundabout in Connah’s Quay, North Wales.
Mr Boardman, policy advisor to British Cycling, said: “Using a phone while driving is not a mistake but a decision that will result in unnecessary death and life changing injuries.
“If people feel it’s okay to text or talk on the phone while driving, it is certainly time to take these selfish, dangerous drivers off the road permanently.”
UK law prohibits drivers from texting or talking on the phone using a handheld device, except in an emergency.
Stricter rules will be introduced in the next year banning people from taking photos or videos, scrolling through playlists, or playing games on their phones.
By November 13, police had caught 90,057 drivers across the country using their phones for the first time. Another 904 were caught a second time, and 20 were caught on the phone three times over a four-year period. Five drivers were charged four times with the same offense and two drivers were caught five times.
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