Don't talk and drive in the UK

LONDON (11/04/2003) - In just four weeks, U.K. legislation that outlaws driving while using a mobile handset will come into effect. Yet nearly 40 percent of U.K. drivers are completely unaware that the new law even exists, according to a survey.

The study, conducted by the Association of British Drivers (ABD) and mobile headset manufacturer Jabra Corp., found 17 percent of people regularly use mobile handsets while driving. More worryingly, 25 percent of them were unaware of the legislation's existence but said new laws would not stop them chatting while driving anyway.

Using a hands-free kit is one solution, but even those drivers who are aware of the legislation were unsure of the definition of a hands-free kit.

"The research shows that while most drivers have concerns about using a handheld mobile, they are ambivalent about the consequences or are unaware of the alternatives. To ensure widespread compliance with the new legislation, there is a need for the government and the mobile industry to tell drivers exactly what is legal and what isn't," said Nigel Humphries, spokesman for ABD.

The ban will mean that drivers face a minimum fine of £30 (US$50) or a conviction of up to £1,000 if caught using a mobile while in control of a vehicle, as well as points on their licence.

To receive a copy of the Jabra/ABD Guide to Mobiles and Safer Driving send an email to

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