The Road Haulage Association is extremely concerned that the Commons Transport Select Committee is considering proposals that the use of hands-free mobile phones while driving should be banned.
Commenting, RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said: “For years we have condemned the use of hand-held devices but for truckers, it is essential that they are able to be contacted and can make contact with their base or their customers.
We totally agree that drivers should not touch their phone while driving – put it in the glove box and forget it. But voice-activated devices, as fitted in the majority of vehicles, make communication safe and viable.
Ours is an industry that is time critical and the ever increasing levels of congestion on the road network mean that communication is more important than ever. It’s vital that the driver can stay in touch. The vast majority of UK manufacturing plants now rely on just-in-time deliveries. Taking away the ability for drivers to keep in touch could seriously effect of production times.
Once regarded as a luxury, a hand-free kit is now standard equipment in vehicles. If such a ban were to be put in place, how would it be enforced?
This is a proposal that needs extremely careful consideration and it is vital that the RHA is included in any consultation.”