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Mirror UK / News - Politics

Celeb lawyer who defends those caught on phone behind wheel wants hands-free ban

Nick Freeman said hands-free devices can distract drivers to almost the same level as drinking two pints of beer

Lawyer Nick Freeman – dubbed Mr Loophole for defending celebrities caught using their mobile phones at the wheel – is calling for a ban on hands-free devices.

Freeman said they can distract drivers to almost the same level as drinking two pints of beer, and quadruple the chance of crashing.

He said: “It is time the Government acted to put an end to the menace of hands-free. It is a major cause of distraction.”

Freeman, 61, is nicknamed Mr Loophole for securing acquittals for his clients on legal technicalities.

The Cheshire-based lawyer has defended a number of high-profile figures accused of driving offences, including comedian Jimmy Carr.

Speaking in Manchester this month, he said of hands-free devices: “Research shows it falls just below the level at which you’re permitted to drink and drive – the chances of having an accident increase fourfold.

Hands free phone headset (stock image) (Image: iStockphoto)
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“That’s why any form of use of a phone when driving, except for an emergency, should be banned.”

Freeman added: “If hands-free were outlawed it will dramatically cut down usage. And reduce the number of accidents and fatalities that arise.”

Carr was cleared of using a mobile while driving, after Freeman convinced the court he was not making a call, but using it to record a joke.

The Mirror launched a campaign to tackle the illegal use of mobiles behind the wheel after the RAC said the problem had reached “epidemic” proprotions.

Research suggests that, although legal, using a phone hands-free while driving is just as dangerous.