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Trade body warns hands-free ban needs consideration

14 August 2019

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has said that a ‘one size fits all’ approach to banning mobile phone use in vehicles needs careful consideration, in response to government proposals.

The Commons Transport Select Committee is considering proposals which ban hands-free mobile phones devices while driving.

The committee said that the devices “creates the same risks of collision” as using a handheld phone while driving.

In response to the proposals, the RHA – which represents the needs of UK road transport operators – says that the proposal “needs extremely careful consideration”.

RHA chief executive Richard Burnett (pictured) said: “For years we have condemned the use of hand-held devices but for truckers, it is essential that they are able to be contacted and can make contact with their base or their customers.

“We totally agree that drivers should not touch their phone while driving – put it in the glove box and forget it. But voice-activated devices, as fitted in the majority of vehicles, make communication safe and viable.

“Ours is an industry that is time critical and the ever increasing levels of congestion on the road network mean that communication is more important than ever. It’s vital that the driver can stay in touch. The vast majority of UK manufacturing plants now rely on just-in-time deliveries. Taking away the ability for drivers to keep in touch could seriously effect of production times.

“Once regarded as a luxury, a hand-free kit is now standard equipment in vehicles. If such a ban were to be put in place, how would it be enforced?

“This is a proposal that needs extremely careful consideration and it is vital that the RHA is included in any consultation.”

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