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Mobiles 'still causing deaths'

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Motorists are still using mobile phones behind the wheel despite rules introduced five years ago making it illegal.

Accident prevention chiefs have said people are still being "needlessly killed" as drivers are choosing to ignore the rules which then makes them four times more likely to crash and as a result increases the number of car insurance claims.

Last year 23 people died in accidents involving illegal mobile phone use, 64 people were seriously injured and 259 were slightly injured.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which campaigned for the mobiles law, said that observational research shows there has been a reduction in the number of motorists using mobile phones while driving.

Drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel face a £60 fine and three penalty points on their licence.

Kevin Clinton, head of RoSPA, said: "It is disappointing that people are still being needlessly killed and injured on our roads because telephone calls or text messages are deemed more important than someone's life.

"Our advice to drivers is clear: switch off your phone when you get behind the wheel and we urge employers to make this part of their road-risk policy."

© Press Association 2008