As of 1st March 2017, using a mobile phone will cost you double the previous fine and penalty points

It is reported on the BBC website (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-39118523) today that drivers caught using a phone within two years of passing their test will have their licence revoked under new rules in England, Scotland and Wales. Penalties for using a phone at the wheel double from 1st March to 6 penalty points and a £200 fine. New drivers who get six points or more must retake their practical and theory. More experienced drivers can be banned if they get 12 points in three years.

The tougher punishments come alongside a hard-hitting advertising campaign. In 2015 – the latest year for which figures are available. 22 people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents where a driver was using their phone. Police forces have begun a 7 day crackdown, with extra patrols and an “increased focus” on people using their phones while driving. About 3,600 drivers were handed penalties in the last co-ordinated enforcement week from 23-29 January, the Department for Transport said.

Adverts aimed at discouraging phone use have been developed by the government’s road safety group Think! and the AA Charitable Trust, and will be shown at cinemas and on billboards, radio and social media. Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said:

It may seem innocent, but holding and using your phone at the wheel risks serious injury and even death to yourself and other road users. Doubling penalties will act as a strong deterrent to motorists tempted to pick up their phone while driving and will also mean repeat offenders could find themselves banned from our roads if they are caught twice.”

So what is the law?

It is illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices. The rules are the same if you are stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic. Many people do not know that it is also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver or rider.

We can help

If you face losing your licence please contact our Motoring Defence team. Call 01522 561020 for further help and advice.

 

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