Fines for drivers who use a mobile phone whilst driving should be doubled, according to our local crime chief.
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird is backing UK Government plans to increase the on-the-spot fine for using a phone when driving from £100 to £200.
The new plans would see double the current fines for drivers who talk, text or use the internet on their hand-held device. The plans will also include devices such as the Apple Watch which, although not a hand-held device, would also pose an accident risk if a driver were to use it whilst driving.
Commissioner Baird said that a heavy on-the-spot fine will “go a long way to making drivers think twice” about using a phone at the wheel.
Accident Risk Increasing as More Drivers are Using Mobile Phones
We’ve all known for some time that mobile phones cause more fatal car accidents, with UK Government statistics showing that, if you use your phone when you drive, your reaction time is half of what it normally is and you’re four times more likely to have a crash.
The latest Government research on mobile phone-use whilst driving shows that over half a million UK drivers are still using a mobile phone whilst at the wheel and that the numbers doing so are rising despite the threat of a £100 fine.
We can only hope that the plans to double this fine will act as a deterrent to drivers, especially considering that there were 22 fatal road traffic collisions involving mobile phone use in 2013, up from 17 the previous year.
It only takes a split second for a driver to become distracted by their phone, take their eyes off the wheel and cause an accident. Any driver who doesn’t have full control of the car will be considered at fault for any accident and liable to compensate anyone bringing a car accident claim for the injuries they sustain.
We are seeing an increasing number of clients who have been injured in accidents where the other driver was using a phone. Hopefully, measures like this will assist in re enforcing the message that phones should not be used whilst driving however tempting it may be to just make or take a call.
Richard Allbeson is a Personal Injury Solicitor at Slater and Gordon Lawyers in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Most of our road traffic accident claims are dealt with on a No Win, No Fee basis. This means there is no financial risk to you.
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