73% of UK adults owned or used a mobile telephone by 2003. It is therefore of interest to monitor the proportion of drivers who use a mobile phone. Surveys of mobile phone use were carried out in October 2002, September 2003 and April 2004 by TRL on behalf of the Department for Transport. This report focuses on the April 2004 survey which was carried out shortly after legislation restricting drivers' use of mobile phones came into force. Roadside surveys were carried out at 38 sites on a representative cross-section of roads in South East England. Observers equipped with an electronic mobile phone detector counted the drivers who were using mobile phones. Phone use was recorded using a combination of visual observation and electronic detection to maximise the reliability of the observations. It is likely that some phone use was not observed, especially of hands-free phones, so the results may underestimate the actual level of use to a limited extent. Over 110,000 cars and 27,000 other vehicles were observed in the survey, and the report presents various analyses of the level of phone use.

Want to know more about this project?