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Sweden stands alone on car phone free-for-all

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Sweden stands alone on car phone free-for-all
15:15 CEST+02:00
Sweden is the only country in Europe which still allows car drivers to talk on their phones without using a handsfree; a situation which is dangerous and has to change, according to the Swedish Automobile Association (Motormannen).

According to the association between 10 and 20 people die or are seriously injured in traffic each year due to mobile use at the wheel.

"We know that the risk of accidents is much higher. We demand that the government enact legislation to introduce a handsfree requirement - the accident risk is up to 23 times greater," Motormannen CEO Maria Spetz told The Local.

Spetz said that the association has forwarded its demand to the infrastructure minister Åsa Torstensson, but has not received a satisfactory reply for why Sweden stands alone on the issue.

"I don't understand the government's stand on this. She (Torstensson) just says no, despite the fact that the Transport Administration has reports supporting the call," Spez said.

Since Albania's introduction of a handsfree requirement for the use of mobile phones while driving early this year, Sweden is now the only country in Europe without legislation on the issue.

"Sweden is a model country when it comes to traffic safety, and we should thus at least hold the same minimum standards as the rest of Europe," said Spetz.

Furthermore, Maria Spetz argues, there is widespread support for restrictions on the current mobile phone free-for-all.

"The handsfree requirement has the broad support of Swedes. There is no reason for not introducing this requirement, when you can see the positive effects on traffic security."

The Local's attempts to contact infrastructure minister Åsa Torstensson for a comment have been unsuccessful.

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