Drivers caught using mobile phones should receive harsher penalties, a survey of UK motorists suggests.
GEM Motoring Assist surveyed drivers to find out how they feel about the current penalties for motorists caught using mobile phones, asking if they are too lenient and whether they act as a serious deterrent.
Currently, motorists are fined £60 and receive three points on their drivers licence if caught using their mobile phone.
With approximately 211,000 motorists prosecuted for mobile phone use in 2010 alone, GEM’s survey results show that 91% of UK drivers think the penalties should be increased to act as more of a deterrent.
More than 90% believe that the fine for drivers using mobile phones should go up to £100, and more than 82% think six penalty points, not three, should be handed out to offenders.
David Williams, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, said: “It’s interesting to see that drivers themselves believe that the penalties are not severe enough.
“Driving while using a mobile phone can make motorists four times more likely to have a crash and reaction times 50% worse than when driving normally, making it one of the most dangerous laws to break on the road.
“Although having a mobile phone in your car for emergencies is advisable we also urge motorists to switch it off when driving to avoid distraction and the temptation to use it.
“We are working hard, in partnership with the National Campaign for Courtesy, to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while using a mobile phone and have created a free leaflet on this issue to continue to make our roads a safer place.”
To download a free PDF of the Safety & Courtesy for Mobile Phone Users leaflet, please visit www.motoringassist.com/leafletswww.motoringassist.com/leaflets.