On 5th December 2016, Lord Jordan asked the Government “what steps they are taking to reduce the incidence of mobile phone use whilst driving.” The Bishop of Bristol, the Rt Revd Mike Hill, asked a supplementary question.
The Lord Bishop of Bristol: My Lords, your Lordships’ House will appreciate that this is quite a difficult subject to regulate. I am grateful to the Minister for outlining the Government’s plans. Given that motoring organisations seem to be extremely dubious about the safety of using hands-free equipment in a motor car, do the Government have any plans to regulate car manufacturers’ ability to produce this equipment, which is distracting, I believe, and can cause accidents?
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: The right reverend Prelate raises an issue about the manufacture of motor cars. The Government are not talking specifically on this issue. Hands-free mobile phone use is very difficult to regulate and enforce, and there are often other distractions in a car, such as loud music. I am the father of three children, and if I have all three of them in the back seat at the same time, that is quite a distraction. On a more serious point, we are looking to ensure that we inform the public, and campaigns such as “THINK!” will stress the importance of not using handheld mobile phones when driving.