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Department for Transport publishes results of handheld mobile phone consultation

mobile phone use behind the wheel, mobile phone convictions.

The Department for Transport has published the results of its consultation that will ultimately lead to a doubling of penalties for drivers using handheld mobile phones.

The consultation, which ran from January to March, set out proposals to increase the fixed penalty for drivers from 3 to 4 points, and for heavy goods vehicle drivers (including large passenger vehicles) from 3 to 6 points. The consultation proposed an increase in the fixed penalty fine from £100 to £150. 

Nearly all respondents (94%) supported an increase in the fixed penalty fine, with 94% supporting an increase in points issued.

Following analysis of the consultation responses, the department has decided to raise the fixed penalty points issued under a fixed penalty notice for this offence from 3 to 6 for all drivers, and raise the fixed penalty notice fine from £100 to £200 for all motor vehicles.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, responded: “Addressing the growing problem of smartphone use whilst driving will require a combination of enforcement and education as well as drivers, passengers, companies and individuals taking more responsibility. 

“IAM RoadSmart is disappointed that the government did not support our calls for first time offenders to be sent automatically on a re-education course specifically tailored to mobile phone use and breaking our apparent addiction to being constantly connected. We also want to see car companies, mobile phone makers and social media providers working together to develop technical solutions to hand held mobile phone use in vehicles.”

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  • Nigel Janes - 08/11/2016 12:19

    No good imposing penalties unless it can be effective from enforcement, people addicted to 'being connected' are well aware that getting caught is getting less likely. Ambivalence to rules of the road is becoming more widespread every day.

  • John D - 08/11/2016 21:26

    The reason persist in using phones widely is simple - minimal chance of detection and penalty. Conversely the reason average speed cameras work is that likelihood of detection is high.

  • Bigzoot - 09/11/2016 09:58

    This wont deter anyone! no enforcement = no risk. Plus i think the increased penalties are pathetic! If enforcement is low then the consequence of being caught has to be higher. Loss of licence should be minimum.

  • Simoncelli 58 - 09/12/2016 13:08

    There are so few police to enforce any motoring legislation that this will make no difference whatever as virtually nobody would get caught as proved by the 90% fall in convictions in recent years. I see upwards of 30 people every day using their phone whilst driving so it can't be that hard to catch people, but there are virtually no traffic police left to do it!

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