An insurer has highlighted the growing trend of drivers using mobile phones at the wheel after a Labour minister was fined for careless driving.
Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, Harriet Harman, admitted driving without due care and attention in court while a second charge of driving while using her mobile phone was withdrawn.
But a survey by Sainsbury's Car Insurance showed that driving while using a mobile phone is common practice for some.
A poll by the insurer found 12% of drivers had illegally used their mobile while at the wheel and 11% said they had sent a text message whilst driving.
The trend is also backed up by recent research by the Transport Research Laboratory, which revealed more drivers are using hand-held mobile phones than before tougher penalties were introduced two years ago. It found 2.6% of car drivers used hand-held phones in 2006 - when fines rose to £60 and three points could be added to licences - compared with 2.8% now.
Ben Tyte, Sainsbury's Car Insurance Manager said: "We would urge motorists to give their driving their full attention and not be tempted to engage in anything that could distract them."
© Press Association 2009