15 September 2016
Penalties For Drivers Using Mobile Phones Set to Increase
On-the-spot fines for using a mobile phone while driving are going to increase from £100 to £150.
The number of penalty points is also set to rise from three to four for cars and vans and six for HGVs.
In a recent RAC report 31 per cent of drivers have admitted to making calls whilst driving in the past year.
If the results of the survey are applied to the UK population it means that nearly 12 million people have been talking on the phone, without a hands-free system, over the last 12 months - four times the number of two years ago.
Pete Williams, the RAC’s road safety spokesman, said: “It is alarming to see some drivers have clearly relaxed their attitudes to the risks associated with this behaviour but more worryingly is the increase in motorists who admit to using a handheld device when driving.
“The fact that drivers have little or no confidence that they will be caught when breaking these laws is a likely contributor to the problem.
“There is clear evidence that illegal use of handheld phones by drivers to talk, text, tweet, post, browse and even video call is, if anything, on the increase.”
The 2016 RAC Report on Motoring found that in the last year 26 per cent of motorists have checked emails, texts or social media whilst driving, 19 per cent have written emails, texts or on social media whilst driving and 14 per cent have even made videos or taken photos whilst driving.
The number increases for those who admit to using their phones whilst their vehicle is stationary with the engine on.
It is an offence for anyone to use any type of hand-held communications device when they are driving. This includes when stationary if the engine is running.
The survey found that sending or receiving text messages while at the wheel of your car can increase the amount of time you spend with your eyes off the road by up to 400 per cent.
The reaction time of drivers using a mobile phone while driving is almost 50 per cent slower and motorists who do use their mobile phone whilst driving are four more times likely to crash.
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