Police conducting a week long crackdown of drivers using mobile phones in November 2016 ended with a record 7,966 fines being issued, further highlighting the issue.
The November campaign to try and curb the amount of drivers using mobile phones saw nearly 40 police forces issuing fines to the record-breaking amount of motorists. Sixty-eight of the drivers were issued court summons, hundreds were given verbal warnings, and almost 8,000 were issued with fixed penalty notices.
This year, the penalties for using mobile phones while driving will doubled to try and stop people using their phones and driving dangerously. If you’re caught using your phone while in control of a vehicle, you’ll get an instant fine of £200, plus you’ll get six points on your licence. If you’re caught within two years of passing your driving test, you’ll also be forced to resit your theory test, practical test, or both. These larger penalties are aimed to discourage drivers from reaching for their phones.
The government are also considering phone blocking technology in cars to eliminate the problem altogether and have been consulting with phone companies and carmakers to see if this is a viable option for the future. The technology would disable distracting features on mobile phones while the car is in motion.
“We welcome this crackdown by police forces. The law needs to be much tougher with this type of offence, which appears to be growing in numbers.”
GARY RAE – CAMPAIGN DIRECTOR, BRAKE (THE ROAD SAFETY CHARITY)
A further week-long campaign is currently underway by the police and is scheduled to end on 29 January 2017. The results of this test will enable to police to see if the changes in penalties has caused a decrease in the amount of motorists using their phones.
Studies in the past showed that 11,000,000 drivers admitted to using their mobile phones while in control of a vehicle, and a staggering 14% of those thought it was acceptable.