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Roads: Accidents

Volume 474: debated on Wednesday 2 April 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport (1) what research has been (a) commissioned and (b) evaluated by her Department on the number of (i) fatal, (ii) serious and (iii) minor road accidents caused by the driver using on a mobile telephone; and if she will make a statement; (198673)

(2) how many road accidents were caused by the driver using a mobile telephone in each of the last two years for which information is available; and how many (a) males and (b) females (i) were killed, (ii) were seriously injured and (iii) received minor injuries, broken down by (A) driver, (B) front seat passenger and (C) rear seat passenger.

The Department has not commissioned research into the numbers of accidents caused by a driver using a mobile phone and is unaware of research specifically into the numbers of accidents. The Department is aware of research available elsewhere into the risks posed by the use of a mobile phone while driving. That is summarised in sections 5.201 to 5.214 of the report (published in 2000) of the Independent Expert Group on Mobile Phones (the Stewart Report) on “Mobile Phones and Health”—available on-line at:

www.iegmp.org.uk/report/text.htm

Contributory factor data recorded by police officers in their statistical returns to the Department has indicated there were 306 reported personal injury road accidents with ‘driver using mobile phone’ in 2005. In 2006, this figure was 345.

The numbers of (a) males and (b) females who were (i) killed, (ii) seriously injured and (iii) slightly injured in personal injury road accidents, reported at the scene by a police officer, involving ‘driver using mobile phone’ as a contributory factor, by casualty class in 2005 and 2006 are given in the table. Pedestrian casualties are not included in the table.

Number of casualties

2005

2006

Casualty severity

Casualty class

Male

Female

Total1

Male

Female

Total1

Killed

Driver or rider

8

3

11

17

8

25

Car front seat passenger

0

0

0

2

1

3

Car rear seat passenger

0

0

0

3

0

3

Other-vehicle passenger

0

0

0

0

0

0

Seriously injured

Driver or rider

30

12

42

31

22

53

Car front seat passenger

4

3

7

3

5

8

Car rear seat passenger

2

0

2

1

2

3

Other-vehicle passenger

1

1

2

0

0

0

Slightly injured

Driver or rider

175

89

264

170

127

297

Car front seat passenger

23

31

55

22

. 42

64

Car rear seat passenger

16

22

38

11

26

37

Other-vehicle passenger

1

4

5

12

10

22

1 Includes cases where gender is not given

The contributory factor ‘Driver using mobile phone’ includes ‘hand held’ and ‘hands free’ phones.