Tough New Penalties For Mobile Phone Use Begin Today
Andy Harris, Motoring and Property Editor
From today, any driver caught using a mobile phone whilst driving can expect to receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine.
Clearly the previous threat of three points and a £100 penalty was not doing the trick.
For a newly qualified driver, being caught within two years of passing their test runs the risk of their licence being revoked for just one offence.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling is hopeful that doubling the penalties will 'act as a strong deterrent to motorists tempted to pick up their phones.'
You don't just have to be making a call to fall foul of the law. Texting, surfing the internet and emailing will also land you in hot water.
And don't be tempted to take a peek at your phone while stationary at the traffic lights. This is still an offence.
If you must use keep in touch, the best advice is to pull over in a safe place, turn off the engine and make that call.
But what about Bluetooth connectivity now prevalent in most new cars? This of course allows calls to be made and received without touching the mobile phone.
Yes it is legal but research shows that the driver will still be distracted and should probably be avoided.
Let's hope the new deterrent is effective in curbing mobile phone use behind the wheel. After all, how important really is that call?
Tough New Penalties For Mobile Phone Use Begin Today, 1st March 2017, 14:26 PM