Drivers who are using their mobile phone behind the wheel will now be faced with a larger fine as of today. (01/03/2017)
Drivers will receive a fine of £200 and 6 points on their licence, and will not be given the chance to go onto a driving awareness course to revoke this. The new laws will result in drivers who have had their licence for less than 2 years will automatically have their licence revoked.
What you need to know about the new laws:
- If you are driving any motor vehicle it is illegal to use any hand-held devices. This includes when you are stuck in traffic or stopped at a red light.
- You can’t use any hand-held devices if you are supervising a learner driver.The police have right to stop you if they think you are distracted by an internet device, including sat-nav and hands-free.
- The police have right to stop you if they think you are distracted by an internet device, including sat-nav and hands-free.
- In cases where it is deemed “unsafe or impractical” to stop, drivers can use their phones to call emergency services.
Fines for using your mobile phone whilst driving were first introduced in 2003 and were at £30, and were then doubled in 20017 to £60 plus three points on your licence. In 2013 the fine was again raised to £100. Despite the consequences, The Department for Transport said that “there has been no sustained reduction in observed mobile phone use over time”
These changes are going to impact new and younger drivers as younger people are engaged more on social media, some even use their mobile phones to live stream and Snapchat whilst behind the wheel, if they are now caught using their mobile phone it will result in their licence taken off them as they accumulate six points.
Earlier this year, ministers had planned to meet with car manufacturers and mobile phone companies to discuss plans for technology that can automatically stop phones working in moving cars, making it impossible for drivers to receive or make phone calls and texts behind the wheel. They hope to do this with technology that will block phone signal for drivers.
The Department for Transport deems using a mobile device whilst driving just as dangerous and socially unexceptional as drunk driving.
These news laws should make everyone reconsider checking their notifications whilst driving, making the roads a much safer place for everyone.