You may have read our blog post in October last year, notifying you of proposed legislation changes that affect drivers who use mobile phones whilst behind the wheel.
Today, 1 March 2017, these changes come into action.
The penalties will increase for those caught using a handheld phone while driving. Both the fine and penalty points will double: from £100 to £200 and from 3 to 6 points. Drivers will face the penalties if they are seen using their mobile phones or similar devices at any point whilst driving, including when stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic
For young/new drivers, who have held their licences for under 2 years, this is set to have larger repercussions as they will face having their licence immediately revoked if caught by the police. Losing your licence, in these circumstances, would mean having to reapply for a provisional licence and then also retaking both theory and practical driving tests.
Research shows that there is growing concern about the number of people using their mobile phone while driving with 96% of the public agree that it is unacceptable, however 31% still admit to doing it.* Although the usage of mobile phones whilst driving has been illegal since 2003, it is still a habit people find hard to break, so what can you do to ensure you aren’t caught in the trap? Here are a few suggestions to help you:
- Keep your phone out of sight. If you can’t see it you won’t use it. The glove compartment is a good place to place it for the duration of your journey.
- Turn your phone on silent. You can respond to calls/messages when you’re in a safe place to do so
- Park safely before using your mobile phone
- Use a cradle if you use your phone for navigation.
Mobile phone usage was a contributory factor in 22 fatal and 75 serious road accidents in 2015.*
Remember, put safety first.
For more information visit http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html