Stricter laws for mobile phone abusers
Tougher laws against the use of mobile phones have now been implemented. As of March 1 2017, motorists caught with a mobile while driving will receive a £200 fine and six points on their licence. This is double the previous punishment and could see new drivers losing their licences.
The nationwide crackdown is designed to raise awareness of the dangers of using a mobile phone while in control of a vehicle. It is hoped that the tougher penalties will act as a deterrent; a step toward making driving with a mobile phone as socially unacceptable as drink driving.
- 31% of drivers admit to using a phone at the wheel, a vast increase from 8% in 2014.
- 12% of drivers still think that it is okay to use a mobile phone. It has been illegal since 2003.
Lancashire Police have announced that between March1-7 they will be taking an active approach to the new law. Safety camera vans will be used in areas that have seen many complaints for mobile phone use, such as outside schools. Marked and un-marked police vehicles will also be used to identify possible offenders.
Damian Kitchen, Lancashire Police Chief Inspector, said:
“Inattention and distraction are as big an issue to road safety as speed, seatbelt use and drink or drug driving. The consequences of even a moment’s distraction can be devastating and our message is ‘it simply is not worth taking that call or sending that text’.
“Killing or seriously injuring someone just because you picked up your mobile phone will live with you forever, and destroy families. In addition you could go to prison, lose your job and your licence.”
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire's Police and Crime Commissioner, added: “I hope that it will encourage drivers to stop and think before they use their mobile phone to check a message, answer a call or even scroll through their social media profiles when they are driving.”
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