Despite increased emphasis on driving safely, new figures from the RAC have shown that a shocking number of motorists still don’t appear to stick to the law.
As part of the organisation’s 2014 Report for Motoring, the RAC posed a variety of motoring offences to motorists and asked them which they believed are against the law.
Just over half of drivers correctly guessed that hogging the middle lane is illegal, while slightly fewer believed that driving with a cracked windscreen was against the law.
Many drivers unsure of the law
As well as that, only 65 per cent believed that aggressive driving is an offence. Bizarrely, just under half of the drivers surveyed believed that having a TV in the front seat was not illegal, while 31 per cent thought that driving with bare feet was against the law.
More worrying still, 12 per cent of drivers thought that it’s perfectly legal to text while driving, while 21 per cent thought that it’s legal to check social media sites while on the road.
This follows on from recently released stats which showed that three quarters of all drivers have witnessed motorists using their phones while driving, but only eight per cent admitted to doing it themselves.
Late last year, Welsh police reported that they caught more than 900 drivers using mobile phones within the space of only two weeks after they ramped up measures to stamp out dangerous driving.
Police patrols were increased for a fortnight during October last year, with all four Welsh police forces working in conjunction to catch high-risk motorists behind the wheel.
Susan Storch, chair of Road Safety Wales, said: “It doesn’t just put your own life at risk but also the lives of your passengers and other road users who may not have a say in your actions behind the wheel.”
“Disappointing” that drivers ignore rules
Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North Wales Police’s Roads Policing Unit added: “It is disappointing that so many drivers chose to ignore our warnings.
“With the increased use of smart phones we are seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty.”
Recent studies have highlighted the dangers of using phones at the wheel, as figures from Ford released last year showed that smartphone use can distract drivers for as long as 20 seconds.