Drivers Using mobile phones Now Face Tougher Penalties
Drivers caught using their phone behind the wheel will now face six penalty points on their licence, as well as a £200 fine, from 2017. The Government recently announced the new set of rules, which will see anyone making a phone call without a hands-free kit, texting or checking social media, handed a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence.
If the offending person has only recently passed their driving test, they may be forced to retake it.
Currently, the offence brings with it three penalty points and a £100 fine. These recent rule changes represent a significant increase over the previous amounts.
However, a recent survey by Brake, the road safety charity, found that more than half of 25-34-year-old drivers admitted to sending or reading a text message at least once a week. The survey, which saw 1,000 people questioned, also saw 49 per cent of drivers admitting to using apps while driving several times a week.
Using apps or texting is even more distracting than speaking on the phone, with drivers’ reaction times reduced by 35 per cent when using their mobile. Concentrating on a mobile screen also affects lane control, with drivers unable to detect when they are swerving off course.
Alice Bailey, campaigns and communications adviser for Brake, said: “These drivers are putting their own and other people’s lives in grave danger by taking this risk. If a phone has to be used as a sat-nav, it must be programmed before setting off on the journey and properly secured. There is no other acceptable way to use a phone while driving.”