Drugs, drink and driving with distractions
By Kyle Linsay
Tuesday, February 24, 2015 - 15:20
A summit will address these issues
PACTS’ UK ROAD SAFETY SUMMIT: Drink, Drugs & Mobile Phones will focus on the annual 250 UK road deaths caused by drink driving
‘Multitasking’ drivers who make business calls on the move may hope to impress the boss or close the deal – but they will achieve the exact opposite. This is the key message from Professor Andrew Parkes, chief scientist at TRL, and one of the speakers to address a PACTS conference in London next month.
PACTS’ UK ROAD SAFETY SUMMIT: Drink, Drugs & Mobile Phones will focus on the annual 250 UK road deaths caused by drink driving; the largely-unknown number of drug-driving casualties; and growing concerns over driver distractions – not least the mobile phone.
“Much has been said of the myth of multitasking, and there is clear evidence that the use of a mobile phone – even if hands-free – not only impairs driving ability, but also affects the quality of all but the most straightforward conversations,” Professor Parkes will say at the conference. “Any attempt to understand or convey complex messages is likely to fail, be cut short, or need repetition – all of which mean that both the driving and phoning tasks are compromised.
Commenting on the UK Road Safety Summit, PACTS Executive Director David Davies says: “Next month, major new legislation to counter drug-driving will come into effect across Great Britain, supported by the first drug screener for use at the roadside by police. Drink-drive laws are also being tightened with legal loopholes being closed and the breath-test limit lowered in Scotland. Meanwhile concerns are growing over the increase in driver distractions; the Government has talked about increasing the penalty for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving – but regardless of this, there is clear evidence that use of even a hands-free device reduces the driver’s ability to concentrate on the road.”
Transport Minister, Claire Perry, and Shadow Transport Minister Richard Burden will also address the conference which will be held on 18 March 2015 at the Mary Ward House, London