A proposal to ban drivers from using hand-held mobile phones was welcomed by lawmakers yesterday. At present there is no law controlling use of mobile phones while driving, although drivers may be charged with careless driving if they fail to maintain proper control of the car. About two accidents involving injuries out of 15,000 every year are blamed on people using mobile phones. Officials said the statistics might be understated 'as no sane drivers involved in accidents would readily admit to the police being on mobile phone when the accidents occurred'. 'Legislating against the use of hand-held phones will help promote safe driving and reinforce a clearer message of don't phone and drive,' the Transport Bureau said in a submission to Legco. At yesterday's transport panel, Lee Wing-tat of the Democratic Party welcomed the move: 'I think it is a good idea to restrict people driving one-handed on the road.' Selina Chow Liang Shuk-yee of the Liberal Party said: 'I support the move to regulate drivers using mobile phones while driving, but the Government should make it clear what kinds of hands-free kits we can use.' While falling short of establishing an actual relationship, a government study of 13 overseas countries suggested that the use of mobile phones while driving causes distraction to drivers and affects the driver's reaction time in emergency. Drivers who use mobile phone while driving have also been found to have a higher risk of collision.