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Tougher penalties for motorists caught using mobile phones

Posted by Jonny on Sep 26, 2016 in Latest News

Motorists caught using a handheld phone are currently given three penalty points and a minimum fine of £100, but this is set to be increased to six points and £200 under new Government plans.

The new rules could also see more experienced drivers going to court if they offend twice, and facing possible fines of up to £1,000 and at least a six-month driving ban.

This move which will start in early 2017 will see the Government crack down harder on motorists than originally planned.

A consultation document published in January this year had proposed tougher penalties for HGV drivers than general motorists, with the latter receiving four penalty points compared with HGV drivers’ six penalty points.

However, concern at the rising use of mobile phones whilst driving, particularly among younger drivers and male drivers, and the rise in fatal driving accidents involving mobile phone use, has seen the Government opt for punitive sanctions across the board.

 

Department for Transport (DfT) figures show that a driver impaired or distracted by their phone was a contributory factor in 492 accidents in Britain in 2014, including 21 that were fatal and 84 classed as serious.

Announcing the tougher penalties, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said that using mobile phones while driving must become as unacceptable in society as drink or drug driving.

 

crash_scene

 

The image above was released by Leicestershire Police this week to highlight the potential outcome of mobile phone usage whilst behind the wheel. The crash took place on 24th November 2014. It occurred after Christy George, 38, lost control of her car hitting an HGV, which in turn crossed the central reservation killing a motorist and severely injuring several others. The loss of control was due to mobile phone use whilst driving. She has since been sentenced to 5 years in prison.

For advice on transport law issues, contact Jared Dunbar on 01829 773 105.

 

Content believed to be correct at time of writing 26.09.16

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