Fleet News

Chief constable calls for mobile phone driving ban

A chief constable is calling for people caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving for the second time to receive a mandatory ban.

Gloucestershire chief constable Suzette Davenport, who is also the lead for roads policing for the Association of Chief Police Officers - believes using mobile phones at the wheel poses a significant risk.

"My view is that if someone is caught twice using a mobile phone within a period of time we should be considering things like disqualifications for short periods of time," she told the BBC.

"I believe if we don't do something fundamentally different we are going to lose this."

Legislation was introduced making it illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone while driving in December, 2003, with drivers facing a £30 fine. It was increased to three penalty points and a £60 fine in February, 2007.

Today, drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving face three penalty points and a fine of £100, and if a case goes to court, the driver could be disqualified.

The use hands-free phones, satnavs and two-way radios while driving is allowed, unless the police think the driver or rider is distracted and not in control of their vehicle.

However, Davenport believes tougher penalties for drivers using mobile phones at the wheel are being ignored to keep voters happy.

She said any increase by politicians in punishments for drivers caught "would not be popular".

However, the Government has denied making decisions based on popularity.

Last week, a Department for Transport survey found van drivers were twice as likely to be found breaking mobile phone laws compared to car drivers

 



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