Drivers facing increased penalties for using mobiles at wheel

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Fines could surge by half to £150, while penalty points could go up from three to four under new Government proposals  

Drivers who use their mobile phones at the wheel could face bigger punishments that would see fines and the number of points they receive on their licence increase.

The Government is planning to up fixed penalty fines from £100 to £150, and penalty points from three to four and three to six for drivers of large vehicles such as HGVs.

Most first-time drivers would still be offered an educational course in an attempt to help change their behaviour on the road.

Targeting repeat offenders

The proposals, which will be consulted on next year, are part of the Government’s ‘Road Safety Plan’ and aimed at targeting those who repeatedly offend.

If agreed, it would be the second time the punishments for drivers using their mobile phone while driving has been changed as in 2013, the fixed penalty for using a mobile while driving was increased from £60 to £100.

‘Social taboo’

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We have some of the safest roads in Europe but we are always looking for ways to improve that record,

“Using a mobile phone at the wheel is reckless and costs lives – I want to see it become a social taboo like not wearing a seatbelt.

“The message is clear: keep your hands on the wheel, not your phone. If you keep taking calls while at the wheel, you could end up being banned from the road.”

The Government also said that using a mobile phone was a contributing factor in 21 fatal accidents and 84 serious accidents in 2014.

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