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Drive to stop cellphone use at the wheel

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 4/11/2016

Just over one-third of organisations with fleet vehicles have a policy banning employees from using hands-free phones at the wheel.

Road safety charity, Brake, says distraction is a factor in many crashes, and the phone call itself is the distraction.

"Drivers who divide their attention are significantly increasing their risk of being involved in a crash."

It's calling for companies with staff who drive for work to ban any cellphone use, in the wake of this year's Fleet Safety Survey .

After last year's survey, numbers increasing by 10 per cent to 40 per cent of organisations around the world banning any cellphone use at the wheel, including hands-free.

Around 200 fleet operators completed this survey; mostly from the UK, but also Australasia, Asia, Africa, North America, and mainland Europe.

Combined they manage a total of more than 190,000 vehicles, and more than 170,000 employees driving for work.

Brake, and the Licence Bureau, conducted the survey, and also found:

* Only 8 per cent consider environment top priority when buying fleet vehicles

* Only 33 per cent require a full eyesight test for all new staff who drive for work

* Three in 10 respondents don't provide any training on staying within legal speed limits.

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