Mobile phones

Title: British Social Attitudes Survey 2016: Public attitudes towards transport

Organisation: Department for Transport
Date uploaded: 12th September 2017
Date published/launched: August 2017

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While 50% of respondents to this annual Government survey agree that use of a mobile phone at the wheel is dangerous - including hands-free - only 40% agree this should be banned.

The British Social Attitudes Survey for 2016 also shows that 10% of respondents believe the use of a hand-held mobile while driving isn’t dangerous - up 2% on the 2015 edition of the survey.

71% agree or strongly agree that the law on using mobile phones while driving is not properly enforced - a level which has been similar since 2007.

The Government has been conducting the survey, which measures people’s attitudes to transport, since 1996. It covers issues including willingness to change current travel behaviours, attitudes to the environment and transport, congestion and views on road safety.

The results of the 2016 survey suggest that there is a growing willingness to walk short journeys (less than two miles) - rather than by car. 14% expressed a willingness in 2016 (compared to 6% in 2006). The proportion disagreeing has fallen from 23% to 13% over the same period.

Looking at drink-driving, the proportion supporting the belief that ‘if someone has drunk any alcohol they should not drive’ has remained at around 80% over the last decade.

The proportion of adults believing that ‘most people don’t know how much alcohol they can drink before being over the legal drink drive limit’ - fell by 9% to 72% in 2016.

In terms of speed cameras, 56% of respondents agree that speed cameras save lives. However, the survey results also show that nearly half of respondents (48%) think speed cameras are mostly there to make money, with 32% saying there are too many of them.

Also on the topic of speed, 69% of respondents support 20mph limits in residential streets. Opposition to speed bumps on residential streets has declined from 41% in 2009 to 29% in 2016.

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