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Mobile phone madness revealed by Admiral

Using a mobile phone while driving

New research by insurance specialist Admiral has exposed the stark truth about mobile phone use at the wheel.

One year since the mobile phone penalty doubled to £200, more than 20,000 motorists have been caught – the equivalent of nearly 70 a day.

Reviewing data from its own customer base, Admiral has revealed that mobile phone offences account for 3% of convictions notified to the insurer in the last two years and men are responsible for 70% of those convictions.

Admiral is reminding motorists that as well as the dangers to themselves and other road users, committing a mobile phone offence not only can lead to a six penalty points, plus a £200 fine, but insurance premiums can rise by up to 95% – effectively doubling the price.

Top 5 motoring convictions notified by Admiral policyholders in the last two years

Rank Conviction %
1 Speeding on a public road 71%
2 Speeding on a motorway 16%
=3 Failure to comply with traffic lights 3%
=3 Using a mobile phone 3%
5 Exceeding good vehicle speed limit 2%

At a national level, a police Freedom of Information request revealed that 81% of mobile phone offences were committed by men compared to 19% by women, making men more than four times as likely to be caught chatting on a phone at the wheel.

Men vs women: mobile phone offences as revealed by FOI request

Police offences – driving mobile phone
Men 81%
Women 19%

Analysing police and Admiral data regarding driver age reveals drivers in their 20s and 30s are the most likely culprits of using their phone at the wheel.

Of all mobile phone offences added to Admiral insurance policies in the last two years, 41% were for policyholders aged 20-29. Policyholders aged 30-39% accounted for 32% of mobile phone convictions, and those aged 40-49, 13%.

Regional differences

Of the 29 police forces who responded to Admiral’s Freedom of Information request, Police Scotland recorded the highest number of offences for driving whilst using a mobile phone since the ban came into force last year, with nearly 3,000 offences recorded, accounting for 14% of all mobile offences across the UK.

Thames Valley police also recorded in excess of 2,000 offences accounting for 10% of all those who responded, whilst Hampshire recorded 1,596 offences, 8% of the UK total.

UK mobile phone convictions: the top 10 hotspots

Rank Police force/area Number of mobile phone offences % of total mobile phone offences from all responding forces
1 Scotland 2840 14%
2 Thames Valley 2098 10%
3 Hampshire 1596 8%
4 Greater Manchester 1174 6%
5 West Mercia 1085 5%
6 Merseyside 1048 5%
7 Kent 991 5%
8 Suffolk 883 4%
9 Surrey 834 4%
10 Staffordshire 827 4%
Total from all police forces who responded 20,455


About Gareth Herincx

Gareth is a versatile journalist, copywriter and digital editor who's worked across the media in newspapers, magazines, TV, teletext, radio and online. After long stints at the BBC, GMTV and ITV, he now specialises in motoring.

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