Why Sweden should not do as everybody else does

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Sweden is the only country in Europe that does not outlaw handheld phone use while driving. This puts some political pressure on Sweden. The Swedish Government commissioned VTI to conduct a literature review on the effects of mobile communication on driving performance, on the legal situation in other countries, and whether there were any documented effects of a legislation. The literature showed that mobile communication does influence driving behaviour, but there appears to be no increased crash risk in real traffic.

Also, laws do not have a lasting effect on how much drivers use their telephones. Therefore, the Swedish Government commissioned VTI to suggest countermeasures against the dangerous use of communication devices. Several countermeasures were presented, ranging from technical solutions over monetary incentives to education and information. It was stressed that no single countermeasure was expected to be satisfactory in itself, and that it is paramount to work with a human centred perspective. While the government proposed in December 2012 not to outlaw handheld phone use, the united political opposition, via its majority in the parliament, mandated the government in March 2013 to pass such a law. Besides that, the government proposed amendments to the current regulations for quick action.

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