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MP pushes for ban on use of phones behind the wheel

A Labour MP is calling for a ban on drivers using mobile phones behind the wheel.

Janet Anderson, Labour MP for Rossendale and Darwen, has introduced a Private Member's Bill in the House of Commons calling for a ban on drivers using mobile phones while driving.

She said: “It is only when someone is killed that the problems associated with mobile phones and driving are highlighted. Some may argue that our present laws are sufficient to deal with this problem, but I believe that we know from our daily experiences that they are not. It is right to consider a generic offence to cover the use of mobile phones while driving.”

The Bill had its first reading last week and will receive a second reading on Friday, April 12, although Private Member's Bills rarely reach this stage because there is no time to debate them at length in Parliament.

However, in the interim Ms Anderson says she will consult with a variety of organisations and individuals, highlighting the successful introduction of such a ban in New York.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents strongly backed the MP's call for a ban. It estimates that there have been at least 17 deaths on Britain's roads where mobile phones have been implicated, and claims that this is just the tip of the iceberg. (November 23, 2001)

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