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Half of Swedes text at the wheel: poll

TT/The Local · 16 Jul 2010, 18:03

Published: 16 Jul 2010 18:03 GMT+02:00

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The survey, by insurance company Trygg-Hansa, showed that 44 percent of the 898 drivers surveyed had at some point sent or read an SMS while driving. Some 13 percent of respondents said they did do at least once per week.

“It is at least as dangerous as driving while drunk,” said Susanne Lekengård, spokeswoman for motoring organization Motormännen.

Lekegård said the law should be changed to ban the use of phones while driving. Many other countries, including Sweden’s neighbours Norway, Denmark and Finland, have already introduced a ban.

But Infrastructure Minister Åsa Torstensson said a ban was not the solution:

“For it to be effective you would need a total ban, as it is the calls themselves and their content that distracts the driver. Hands-free doesn’t help and I can’t see a total ban being passed,” she said.

Story continues below…

Torstensson added that a ban on text-messaging at the wheel would be hard to police.

Drivers who cause a hazard by driving while using their mobile phones can currently be charged with careless driving, a crime that carries penalties of up to 2 years in jail.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

20:21 July 16, 2010 by Mb 65
This is stupid if you ban their use it might make people think twice. How can you enforce drink driving only by stopping and breathalyzing the driver . At least with a mobile the police can see them. Another even more dangerous than this is bad eyesight why don't police check it when they put up road blocks. many drivers seem to wait until my car comes into their field of vision then they pull out in front of you.
22:41 July 16, 2010 by Russ Cobleigh
It SHOULD be against the law, and; if I get hit by someone driving and texting and survive......I am going to get the best lawyer that I can find and sue the driver AND Sweden!
00:01 July 17, 2010 by Great Scott
Rock on Ross you are right, Mib, think about who is really stupid.
05:02 July 17, 2010 by engagebrain
I thought it was compulsory to hold a mobile phone while driving in Sweden.
05:29 July 17, 2010 by Rebel
It is okay, Swedes are such moronic drivers that texting might not impede their abilities all that much.

You know the real reason Americans can't automatically get Swedish licenses? Yes, the money thing...we know that the Swedish government wants money, money, money, but beyond that maybe they are afraid of road rage if too many Americans wound up driving and had to deal with these poor excuses for drivers.
09:16 July 17, 2010 by Nemesis
It is insanity not to ban using a mobile phone while driving.

Road safety should come before idiots texting there friends to secure them some beer.
10:45 July 17, 2010 by Renfeh Hguh
"Almost every second Swede has read or written mobile phone text messages while driving" and the other 50 % are just crap drivers!
12:25 July 17, 2010 by bungle
I find it fascinating that the Swedes drive these expensive big cars that are not equipped with indicators (or is it that they don't know how to use them??)

Mobile phones wont be banned while driving because the powers that be here are also texting on there way home.

Such a funny bunch, very predictable, I love it here
13:12 July 17, 2010 by americanska
so this guy is really saying that talking on a hands free is just as dangerous as looking at your phone trying to type or read a message? wow, wooooow. he is intelligent.

you don't need a total ban, in a lot of states in the US it's legal to talk on the phone but not legal to text, use the internet, etc. if you are in an accident and they suspect you were using the phone they can just check if you were. not too difficult it's all on the grid anyway.
17:03 July 17, 2010 by EtoileBrilliant
@americanska - so we have to wait until somebody has an accident until we come down on the perpetrators. I hope its not your child that gets hit by a driver using a mobile!


Torstensson added that a ban on text-messaging at the wheel would be hard to police.


So that's alright then. What on earth does she think the rest of the world does when they ban mobiles while driving, just look the other way.
18:36 July 17, 2010 by Meatball
Oh Lord, how stupid can these politicians get. A total ban is the only way to go, in South Africa no less, you cannot make a call, you cannot answer a phone call...thus eliminating the 'bad news' phonecall, you cannot text, ie. Total Ban.

Just put the phone away until you are at your destination...just like when cellphones did not exist and people still survived! But I agree with a reader above, these policitians are using their mobiles themselves whilst driving....
20:25 July 17, 2010 by engagebrain
12:25 July 17, 2010 by bungle

I find it fascinating that the Swedes drive these expensive big cars that are not equipped with indicators (or is it that they don't know how to use them??)

It makes roundabouts more exciting - it odd Swedes usually prefer safe.
03:14 July 18, 2010 by AussieAndy
It amazes me how people cannot live without using their mobile phone for a short time. Really is every call or text message that important.
10:52 July 18, 2010 by bungle
Patriotism is the virtue of the vicious.

-Oscar Wilde

My country's better than yours, omg who cares???

I'm a Brit and I agree with everything thats been said against Sweden and can add a lot more but really whats the point? I could make a long list against the UK and the US too, but again, whats the point??
12:46 July 18, 2010 by Taxalien
It is interesting to debate this with some Swedes. Some go apeshit when you mention that it should be banned. In fact they vent all their anger out on you if you suggest it, complaining about "förbudssverige" and how their freedom is impeded in every other aspect.

In my view, there is hardly anything left of common sense in Sweden. Naturally there are hundreds and thousands of examples of poor laws and inconsequential prohibited activities in Sweden that should be removed, but that does not mean that there are some that should still be added.
15:26 July 18, 2010 by Valdemaratterdag

Sure, there are bad drivers in Sweden, and texting while driving doesn't make it any better, but I find the American driver's to be an order of magnitude worse on the roads than the Swedes. Americans plow through their commutes yakking away on their phones while navigating enormous SUVs, oblivious to others. They put on makeup, brush their teeth, read the newspaper, and, yes, send text messages regardless of it's illegality. I've never seen a stop sign that an American hasn't rolled through, or right turn on a red that an American doesn't treat like a yield sign. Speed limits? What are those? Half of the Americans are either on your ass because they're on their phones or on your ass because they have road rage, and, horrors, you have the nerve to drive the speed limit.

And why shouldn't they have road rage? Gas is so cheap that anyone can drive so the roads are completely packed with cars. Teenagers don't take the bus to school, they have to drive daddy's SUV instead, also clogging the roads. And the 16-year-olds in the U.S. shouldn't be on the road in the first place since they're not mature enough to understand the rules of the road. Oh, that's right, there are no rules of the road in the U.S., it's every man for himself.

I could go on.
15:53 July 18, 2010 by americanska
haaha. oh no gas is so cheap that anyone can drive. and that is bad?? i can tell you were raised in europe!
17:47 July 18, 2010 by Valdemaratterdag

Haha. Yeah, that sounded bad. I was thinking in the context of the teenagers who are able to drive because gas is so cheap, but it came out wrong and sounded quite elitist.

I'm actually born and raised in Minnesota.
21:00 July 18, 2010 by bungle
@ Bungle

erm, wrong thread I think.....
14:14 July 19, 2010 by J Jack
I love driving so much that I wouldn't tarnish the experience with a phone, period. Not to mention that here in Spain it is against the law to operate a cell whilst driving, punkt slut!
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