Stats assembled by motoring organisation the RAC show that prosecutions for driving and texting (or instant messaging or tweeting or taking photos of your sexy driving face) have fallen by half in the last five years, but it's not because we've got the message and stopped using mobiles while driving. It's because traffic police have more important things to do.
According to the RAC's data, the number of fixed penalty notices handed out to drivers for using their phone while driving dropped from 123,100 to 52,400 between 2011 and 2013, with actual prosecutions for the crime falling by over 15,000 between 2009 and 2014.
Which you might think is great and illustrates that we do read the public information leaflets and adapt our behaviour accordingly, but no. The RAC says that Department for Transport data shows everyone's still at it -- with numbers of people admitting to checking their phone while driving actually increasing between 2009 and 2014 -- it's just that traffic police have softened their stance on nabbing people due to being overstretched.
The RAC's Pete Williams says we should launch a new crackdown on the distracted driving of Instagrammers snapping funny lorry signage as they travel, saying: "The goal for ministers and policymakers is surely to make the use of mobile phones at the wheel as socially unacceptable as drink-driving. With this the number one road safety concern for motorists, coupled with official data showing fewer people are being caught, there will be an overwhelming frustration that too many drivers are simply getting away with it." [RAC via Telegraph]