The updated law means drivers face six penalty points and a £200 fine if caught using a mobile phone while driving for almost any reason, closing a previous loophole.
However, research from the RAC found that just two per cent think it will be ‘very effective’ in improving driver behaviour.
Perhaps adding further weight to this fact is that the survey also found that 43 per cent of motorists aren’t aware the new rules are in place.
Despite this scepticism, 75 per cent of the 2,000 people surveyed by the RAC said they were in favour of the changes to the law.
While very few thought it would be ‘very effective’, 49 per cent thought it would be ‘partly effective’ with a similar proportion (45 per cent) saying it would not be effective, showing motorists are divided on whether the changes will make a difference.
Of those who are unconvinced by the new rules, 86 per cent said they believe some drivers will continue to use their phone regardless, while 70 per cent said the problem was that drivers don’t feel like they’ll be caught.
When asked what could be done to make the laws more effective, three key areas were identified. Around a quarter of drivers said there needed to be more visible police enforcement, a high-profile advertising campaign, and even stricter laws.
A fifth said they would like to see cameras used to catch offending drivers.
RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis said it was clear motorists are supportive of the changes to the law, adding: “While we welcome today’s law change and very much hope it will make a difference, it’s arguable that it will only be truly effective if it’s rigorously enforced.
“If some drivers still don’t feel they’re likely to be caught, then simply making the law tougher isn’t going to have the desired effect of making our roads safer.
“That explains why such a tiny proportion of drivers – just two per cent – think the new changes will be very effective in changing behaviour.”