More penalty points for mobile phone use?

The government is considering increasing the amount of penalty points that can be issued for using a mobile phone while behind the wheel.

The amount of penalty points that drivers will get if caught using a mobile phone while behind the wheel could be set to double.

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin is considering the plan, which would see penalty points for using mobile phones rising to six and would result in a ban if a driver is caught doing this twice in three years.

Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Bernard Hogan-Hower recommended the rise in penalty points. This was after seeing the first increase in deaths and injuries on the streets of London for more than a decade.

He suggested that there was a lack of awareness of the danger that is caused when people use their mobile phones while behind the wheel.

Mr Hogan-Howe did add that casualties on the UK's roads are generally falling year on year but added that he wants to see more done to reduce these statistics.

The consideration over increasing penalty points for mobile phone usage was welcomed by road safety charity Brake and its deputy chief executive Julie Townsend expressed her hope that the government would implement it.

She said: "Brake has long campaigned for tougher penalties for mobile phone use at the wheel because of the suffering we see the bereaved and injured victims of road crashes put through as the result of such a senseless and unnecessary risk."

Yet Ms Townsend also suggested that more could be done to deter drivers from using their mobile phones while behind the wheel. She said that the penalty point rise would be useful but would be even better if it was combined with an increase in the fine that can be delivered to between £500 and £1,000. This should also be backed up with greater traffic enforcement to ensure that people are caught, she added.

Using a hand-held mobile phone has been a criminal offence since 2003, although some drivers continue to do so.

Additionally, there have been some calls to extend the offence to hands-free mobile phone usage.

  • On: 18 July 2014
  • By: CarShop

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