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Cell phone users face U.K. road ban

Drivers in the United Kingdom caught using their mobile handsets while on the road face lengthy bans if a proposed new law comes into force. The government says the proposals, which apply to handheld not hands-free phone calls, would put the United Kingdom in line with 35 other countries and would lead to an immediate reduction in road accidents. Transport minister David Jamieson confirmed that the consultation period would last 12 weeks and said the government was acting in the interest of the public who had seen an increase in road accidents caused by motorists using their phones while driving.

Under current U.K. law, motorists using cell phones can only be prosecuted if they fail to keep proper control of their vehicle. If the new law passes, offending drivers will have points put on their license, and employers who let employees use handsets in cars during work hours also face prosecution. Independent research shows that drivers using cell phones are four times more likely to be involved in an accident.'s Jon Bernstein reported from London.