The government has just announced that fines and penalty point for mobile phone use at the wheel are set to double. It will soon cost £200 and 6 points!
For newly qualified drivers that could mean an immediate ban as they are only allowed 6 points in the first 2 years after passing their test.
This move is seen as a response to concern about more young drivers being caught using their phones as well as a number of highly publicised fatal accidents all linked to mobile phone use.
With up to 1 in 3 drivers willing to make handheld calls at the wheel attitudes could have to change. Many people don’t see it as wrong but statistics prove that the chances of crashing increase to the same level as those for drink drivers.
Some motoring organisations are calling for a publicity campaign akin to those used for the introduction of compulsory seat belts or to reduce drink driving, but will that solve matters?
The changes may not end there. Not only will those caught get a £200 on-the-spot fine, if they are caught twice for the offence and accrue 12 points they will automatically appear in court and face a fine of £1,000 and a driving ban of at least six months.
New drivers face having their licences revoked after the first offence, and to regain their licence must reapply for a provisional licence and pass further theory and practical tests.