From the 1st March, motorists caught using their mobile phone while driving will receive tougher penalties than ever before. The Department for Transport recently announced that drivers will face an on the spot 6 points on their license and £200 fine for calling, texting or using their phone in any other way whilst driving. This is double the old penalties in place, with drivers risking 3 points and £100 for using their phones beforehand.
These new penalties also mean that new motorists who have been driving for less than 2 years could have their licence revoked without the option to take part in re-training programmes. Drivers with over 2 years experience can lose their license if they accrue 12 points within the space of 3 years. As well as this, repeat offenders could face a 6 month driving ban and a fine of £1,000.
Why has the Mobile Phone Penalty been Increased?
New penalties have been put in place to further discourage drivers from using their phones without a hands-free kit. Recent studies carried out showed that in 2016, an overwhelming 16 million UK motorists admitted to using their phones illegally whilst driving. The penalties also highlight the dangers of using a mobile device while driving.
Other studies have also suggested that 20% of drivers will check their phones while in stationery traffic. Meanwhile, the percentage of people believing it is acceptable to use a mobile phone while driving is rising each year. In the same survey, around 20% admitted to using social media while driving. This particular aspect is most common in drivers aged 17-24.
How the Government are Catching Phone Users
To further combat drivers using their phones, police have increased patrols with a focus on drivers using their mobile phones.
Furthermore, new technology is being designed for speed cameras to identify drivers not wearing their seat-belts or using their phone. However, this technology is not being widely used as of yet.
More legislation has recently gone through about child and baby seats in the car. To read more about this, click here.
Also with MOT season coming up soon, make sure your car is fully prepared for the test.