UK proposes tougher penalties for using mobile phones while driving
New government proposals in the UK would see an increase in fines and penalty points for driving whilst using a mobile phone.
Drivers caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel would lose four penalty points on their driving licence (up from three points) and face a fine of £150 (up from £100).
Heavy goods vehicle (HVG) drivers would be hit harder, losing six points on their licence on top of a £150 fine.
The UK government is cracking down on motorists using their mobile phone behind the wheel.
Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones said:
“We are increasing the penalty points for HGV drivers because these are big, big vehicles up to 44 tonnes in weight.
“The consequences of people not paying attention behind the wheel of these vehicles can be significantly greater, so that’s why we are treating them differently.”
The government said the proposals are aimed at motorists who repeatedly offend, adding that first-time offenders will be offered an educational course to try to change their behaviour on the road.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Using a mobile phone at the wheel is reckless and costs lives – I want to see it become a social taboo like not wearing a seatbelt.
“The message is clear: keep your hands on the wheel, not your phone. If you keep taking calls while at the wheel, you could end up being banned from the road.”
The government said that mobile phone use whilst driving was a contributing factor in 84 serious accidents and 21 fatal accidents last year.
David Bizley, the RAC’s chief engineer, was quoted by the BBC as saying:”There is still a surprising number of motorists who think it is acceptable to take a short call with a hand-held mobile whilst driving – it isn’t, and is a real danger.
“Our report on motoring this year showed motorists are increasingly worried about other drivers being distracted by mobile phones whilst at the wheel.”