Metropolitan police Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe has suggested that the current punishment of three penalty points and a £60 fine for using a mobile phone while driving is not a strong enough deterrent.
Instead, he believes offenders should receive six points on their licence, which would make drivers take the law on driving while on the phone more seriously and improve road safety.
Asked during a live webchat why so many people still seemed to be getting away with using mobile phones behind the wheel, Hogan-Howe replied: “Many people do not get away with it and get a fine and three points on their licence.
“I would like to see them receive six points in the future. That would mean a second offence would lead to them being banned and I believe this would change driving behaviour and improve safety.”
Drivers are permitted to use a phone’s speaker or hands-free kit to avoid breaking the law as long as they do not hold the phone at any point, however police can still issue a £60 fine and three points if they deem the driver not to be in control of the vehicle.
More than 171,000 fixed penalty notices for using a hand-held mobile phone in a vehicle were issued in the 12 months up to last October, making it the fifth most common traffic crime, according to police figures.