Tough phone penalties fail to put off motorists

It has been revealed that a driver is caught every seven minutes using their mobile phone at the wheel when driving, even with the new tougher laws in place!

In the four weeks since re-enforced laws for handheld use behind at thewheel took effect, UK police have penalised nearly 6,000 motorists – over 200 a day.

The figure, obtained following a Freedom of information (FOI) request from the Press Association, is likely to be higher still – with seven forces not responding, plus the likelihood that some incidents weren’t logged in time.

Since March 1, motorists found using their mobile phone behind the wheel – whether for calls, messages or even Google Maps – have faced getting six points on their licence and a £200 fine, a doubling of the previous penalty in place throughout the UK, not to mention the increased car insurance costs by obtaining points on your licence

The changes now mean new drivers risk losing their licence for sending a single text.

In this latest crackdown, 5,977 instances of the illegal practice were recorded by police, with the greatest amount being registered by the Metropolitan Police (2,037).

Other forces to log significant figures include Thames Valley Police (478), Police Scotland (339), Hampshire Police (280) and Cheshire Police (224).

Campaigners say the latest concerning findings are really rather telling in terms of many drivers that are “selfishly” ignoring repeated warnings about the dangers of using a phone at the wheel despite the risk of harsher penalties.

Brake spokesman Jack Kushner wants the £200 fine to be “significantly increased” to deter offenders, while police have said they want to ensure using a mobile while driving is thought of in the same bracket as drink-driving behind the wheel

In 2015, there were 22 deaths and 99 serious injuries caused by mobile phone related accidents on the UK’s roads, Department for Transport figures show.

Among the latest spate of incidents, police spotted a man attending to his online banking on the M5 near Birmingham, while the driver of a school minibus in Manchester was also found on his phone.