We have had the opportunity to share our research with parliament via the Transport Select Committee consultation on ‘Road Safety: driving while using a mobile phone’ You can read the evidence we submitted to the committee here, and the full report the committee published shortly afterwards, which was very supportive of our research findings.
The Government’s response, which acknowledges the need for greater public awareness, can be found here.
For further information on research in this area, have a look at these policy documents we have produced and shared:
Policy brief, Briggs, Hole & Elphick, ‘Think talking on your hands-free while driving is safe? Think again’ (December 2018): http://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/policy-engagement/files/2019/01/2018-11-Think-talking-on-your-hands-free-is-safe.-Think-again-PB-Hole-Briggs.pdf
Supplementary doc on policy brief can be found here.
The evidence shows that using a hands-free device creates the same risks of a collision as using a hand-held device, and it is therefore inappropriate for the law to condone it by omission. While we accept that there would be practical challenges to criminalising hands-free devices and enforcing this offence, we agree with Dr Gemma Briggs that just because something is difficult this does not mean that we should not do it. We therefore recommend that the Government explore options for extending the ban on driving while using a hand-held mobile phone or other device to hands-free devices.
~Transport Select Committee, 2019
We have worked closely with various police forces across the UK to help offer evidence-based education on the dangers of phone use by drivers.
Most recently we have teamed up with researchers at Keele University and, with funding from the Road Safety Trust, have produced resources for the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) enforcement campaign (9th- 29th March 2020). This included over 60 Tweets with graphics to be shared by all 43 UK police forces.
To see some of the work we have done with Brake, take a look at the links below.
Briggs, G. F. (2020). Preface to Direct Line and Brake reports on safe driving: in-vehicle distraction. Retrieved from Brake.
Hole, G. J. and Briggs, G. F. (2016). Why banning all mobile phone use by drivers would be a good idea. Retrieved from Brake.
Blog piece for Brake, Hole & Briggs, ‘Time for a ban on hands-free phone use behind the wheel?’ (15th April 2019). Retrieved from Brake.
We have worked with various members of industry to help inform policy and practice at company level, and to provide expertise on best practice. This has included advising haulage firms on approaches to education for their drivers, educating senior managers of major delivery companies on research relating to hands-free phone use and contributing to publications aimed at sharing best practice across the sector
Working alongside James Evans from The Late Starter Group, Gemma Briggs acquired a Transport Research and Innovation Grant, in January 2023. This research and development project was focused on testing a mixed reality approach to driver education. You can read the report from the project here, and find the associated Toolkit produced as part of this work here. The toolkit is a jargon-free guide to the background, testing approach and learning on mixed reality use for road safety education.