It has been reported in the Telegraph that the number of motorists caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel has fallen by almost half in four years.

Over two-thirds of police forces across the UK recorded a drop in the number of drivers being stopped for mobile phone use since 2011, with one of England’s largest constabularies seeing stops fall by more than 80 per cent.

The figures were revealed after research suggested illegal mobile phone use by drivers is on the rise and ministers agreed to toughen penalties.  Police officer leaders have blamed the fall in those being caught on a reduction of traffic officers as a result of budget cuts, saying the two go “hand in hand”.

Of the 43 police forces in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who were asked by the BBC to release data on mobile phone stops, 37 responded.  The figures showed there were 178,000 people stopped by police in the UK in 2011-12 for using their phones. This compared to fewer than 95,000 in 2015-16, a drop of just under 47%.

Earlier this month, the RAC said a recent survey of more than 1,700 motorists showed almost one-third (31%) of motorists admitted to using a handheld phone behind the wheel compared to just 8% in 2014.

The proportion of drivers who confessed to sending a message or posting on social media rose from 7% to 19% over the same period.

The survey prompted an outcry and Transport Secretary Chris Grayling pledged to introduce tougher sanctions for illegal mobile phone use as soon as possible.

Motorists caught using a handheld phone are currently given three penalty points and a minimum fine of £100, but this is set to be increased to six points and £200 under the plans, with tougher penalties for new drivers and drivers of HGVs.

Anyone who finds themselves being investigated or prosecuted for driving whilst on a mobile, should receive expert advice from our Motoring Defence Team as soon as possible.

To speak with one of our experts contact us at your nearest Ringrose Law Office. We have offices in Lincoln, Boston, Spalding, Sleaford, Grantham and Newark.

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