In 2006 TRL was commissioned by Transport for London to survey the use of seat belts and mobile phones by car and van occupants at a range of sites in London, applying the same observational techniques that had been used for a long running survey carried out on behalf of the UK Department for Transport (DfT). The survey was carried out in March 2006 at 33 sites across London, with one site per Borough and one in the City. 27,638 cars, 1,497 taxis and 4,709 vans were observed in total, together with all their drivers and passengers.
The survey showed that seat belt wearing rates were appreciably lower in London than in the DfT survey. This was especially true for rear seat passengers of all ages and either sex; even among young children (aged 0-4 years), the rear seat wearing rate in London was found to be only 75% whereas the DfT survey has found a wearing rate of about 95% for some years. Drivers in London were more likely than those observed in the DfT survey to use a mobile phone. For example, 2.6% of car and taxi drivers in London were using a handheld mobile phone, compared with 1.6% in the DfT survey.

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