Page last updated at 09:53 GMT, Monday, 16 March 2009

Driving distraction campaign call

Driver talking on a mobile phone (generic)
Most people know about mobile phone legislation when driving

A researcher into driving distractions is calling for an advertising campaign into the dangers of multi-tasking while driving on the road.

Dr Terry Lansdown, of Heriot Watt University, is warning motorists they face jail if they are caught not concentrating at the wheel.

He said people for example do not realise they should not be programming sat navs while the car is moving.

He is urging motorists to complete a new survey into what distracts them.

Dr Lansdown told BBC Scotland news website: "Any action deemed to be an excessive distraction for example texting while driving can lead to imprisonment of up to five years.

"People know about mobile phone legislation when driving but they do not seem to realise there are other distractions which fall under the dangerous driving act.

"People need to be made aware so that they don't fall foul of the law.

"I want to collect data so that we can learn where the biggest problems lie."

He added that he had seen motorists holding hot drinks, programming sat navs, dealing with pets and children and texting while driving.

The study will run for about six months and each survey takes about 10 minutes to complete.

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