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41% call for hands-free ban in cars

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A motoring poll has revealed 41% motorists believe mobile phone hands-free devices should be banned while driving.

Two years ago the use of mobile phones while driving was banned, although it is still legal to use hands-free sets. According to car insurance company esure 71% of motorists think they distract drivers, while nearly half, 48%, think hands-free sets are putting motorists' safety unnecessarily at risk.

Police records revealed in England and Wales in 2007 almost 3,000 drivers were prosecuted for not having enough control of their vehicle because they were distracted by a phone call using hands-free.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: "Using a hands-free phone while driving is just as dangerous as using a hand-held phone because of the mental distraction caused by the telephone conversation.

"We have always said that the use of hands-free phone kits while driving should have been made illegal at the same time as hand-held phones were. We urge employers in particular to ensure their employees do not use any type of mobile phone when they are driving for work."

© Press Association 2009