Motorists & Mobile phones

Mobile Phones on the Move

The government is proposing cracking down on drivers using hand held mobile phones whilst behind the wheel.

Motoring organisations and bodies have been anticipating a rise in the penalty for phoning driving, anticipating that the current fine be raised by some £30, and one more penalty point than the current three be applied.

Possibly in the wake of some high profile tragic road fatalities that have been related to phone usage whilst driving, the proposals include doubling the number of penalty points from three to six, and also doubling the fine, from £100 to £200.

This means that a repeat mobile phones offence within the three years of those point’s duration, will make a total of twelve, which automatically means a court appearance, with the fine up to around £1,000, and possibly a six month driving ban. (Get the best legal help you can if this applies to you…. ask Patterson Law to guide you through your options).

The largest group of those who use the phone while driving are aged 17 to 24. This age group is also where the majority of newer drivers are, and the proposed changes in legislation will hit them particularly hard.

Those who have had their driving licences for less than two years are considered new drivers, and within that period of time, should they accumulate a maximum of six points they lose that license and have to re-apply to take the whole driving test again, including both theory and practical tests.

This means that one strike, with a hand held device, and they’re out. For a generation that seems to be addicted to social media usage and everything has to tweeted, liked or snapped, the proposals may seem overly harsh, but as both the government and motoring bodies point out, the mind set around the mobile on the move, must be altered.

The idea is to make using mobile phones while behind the wheel as socially unpalatable as drink driving. In almost all accidents that require a police presence, drivers involved are being asked to submit their mobiles to the police, who determine if anyone was being distracted by them, in the time leading up to the accident or incident.

A widespread knowledge of the police’s capabilities in information retrieval may be more effective in curbing the usage, than any lecturing with figures and statistics.

Insurance companies will, of course, ensure the pain of being caught and being given six penalty points is compounded with increases in premiums.

For a three point penalty the premium would generally go up around £50, but an automatic six points, would generate a rise of anything up to £250 on the premium, a lose-lose situation.