Today (March 1st) marks the start of a major crackdown on the issue of using a mobile device when driving. Following an announcement by the Department of Transport it has been released that offenders will face new, harsher consequences. Drivers will now risk obtaining a £200 fine plus six penalty points to their license if they are caught. New drivers that are found using a mobile device could also have the licence revoked entirely. HGV drivers can also face this sanction.
The new deterrents have been administered following the shocking figures revealed by the National Police Chief’s Council (NPCC). The figures highlighted that nearly 50 drivers every hour were seen on their phones during a crackdown that spanned a week. With concerns of such dangerous activity on the rise, it isn’t only the police and Department of Transport taking action. Police forces are now considering using information on offenders provided by community spotters as well as teaming up with local authorities.
Fines for this type of motoring offence were first passed back in 2003. Back then they were £30 and doubled by 2007 with the added deterrent of being given 3 penalty points. The fines increased again by 2013 to £100. However, people still continued to use their mobile devices behind the wheel.
The new fines will apply to drivers across England, Scotland and Wales. They are aiming to prevent people from texting, browsing social media applications or using their phones without a hands-free set-up. Although these changes shouldn’t be the only deterrent stopping people from using their device when driving they stress how important it is to think of others and to always take care when driving. When behind the wheel driving should be our only focus. It is imperative that we all put down our phones.