Mobile Phone Fine Doubled
Mobile Phone Fine Doubled
In the last month the UK law has ben updated for fines and points relating to mobile phone use whilst at the wheel. Many drivers are going to face harsher punishments if now caught using a non hands free device while driving. With 22 fatalities and almost 100 serious injuries in a single year throughout the country, texting while driving has become a serious issue in the UK. As of the 1st of March, new drivers using their phones behind the wheel could lose their licenses. Calling, texting, or simply using any application on a mobile device will result in an immediate fine of £200 with six points on the record for any driver, regardless of age.
New drivers in the UK are only allowed to amass a maximum of 6 points during the first few years and being caught on a mobile would therefore result in an immediate ban as well as the points, fine and potential increase in future car insurance premiums. With one in four drivers admitting to checking their phone for text messages, email notifications, and social media displays while on the road, it is no wonder this law has been updated to recognise the seriousness of the potential consequences.
How This Impacts Motorists
Mobile phone oriented laws have been in place since 2003, with updates in 2007 and 2013 as necessary, so it should come as no surprise that further amendments to the ideal have been implemented. But why the drastic change? How did this come to be? The RAC has been lobbying the government to make stronger laws in regards to cell phone usage while driving, removing the option to take awareness courses and the like to ensure compliance.
Despite the understandable nature of the law, many are worried about how this will affect them. Without the use of mobile phones for GPS or the like, people will likely be impacted in negative ways. New drivers will be the most severely affected by this new regulation, because they are only allowed to lose six total points before having their license revoked.
Prior to the implementation of this law, new drivers could take a retraining course to keep their license, but this is no longer the case. With experienced drivers, texting while driving can take away half of their total points in an instant. The law suggests that phones should be switched off completely when driving, because the entire country is facing a phone-addiction epidemic.
Motorists are only allowed to use their phone when it is completely hands-free, with absolutely no chances for alterations. This could be detrimental to those who need to update their GPS directions or who are being phoned in the case of an emergency, especially when the vehicle is not compatible with such technological advances. Even when the phone is totally hands-free and functional, police are capable of ticketing individuals they believe are distracted by their cellular devices.
Brake Welcomes The Changes
Brake, the road safety charity has welcomed the changes to the law. In a recent article they state that over half (55%) of all 25-34 year olds questioned said that they had read or responded to a text message whilst at the wheel in the past 12 months. They also mention that just under half (49%) of all drivers questioned admitted to using an app or game on their phone whilst driving.
To read the full article, visit the Brake website here – http://www.brake.org.uk/media-centre/1679-brake-welcomes-police-crackdown-on-drivers-using-mobiles