Today’s the day when mobile phone penalties double.


From today the penalty for mobile phone use whilst driving is to be doubled.

Those caught using their phone behind the wheel, will now face a much bigger fine of £200. This will be accompanied with a 6 point fine. Until today, the penalty stood at 3 points and £100 fine but in a bid to try and hit home the message, the Department for Transport has brought in tougher new laws.

The new laws are being being introduced today and will apply to all drivers including newly qualified drivers who are capped at 6 points within their first 2 years of qualification. Being caught would mean instant instant loss of licence. The laws have come in response to statistics showing that since the law was introduced back in 2003, “there has been no sustained reduction in observed mobile phone use over time” according to the DFT.

The minister for transport, Chris Grayling, said use of mobiles at the wheel was “as socially unacceptable as drink or drug-driving, but that it appeared the public were not taking the current fines seriously enough to reduce accidents and deaths caused by the offence”.

From an insurance point of view, we don’t need to tell you that it will always impact on the cost of your insurance premium and increase costs should you incur extra points. If you are in the motor trade, a HGV or truck driver, or a driving instructor, it could have a serious impact on your business.

The current law 


Using mobile phones when driving

  • It’s illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device while driving, or riding a motorcycle.
  • The rules are the same if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • It’s also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver or rider.

You must stay in full control of your vehicle at all times. The police can stop you if they think you’re not in control because you’re distracted.
This includes if you’re using devices like your sat nav or car radio.

When you can use a phone in your vehicle

If you’re the driver, you can only use your phone in a vehicle if you:

  • need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop
  • are safely parked

Penalties for using your phone while driving

You could get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200.

Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500.


Keith Frampton to be new chairman of BIBA’s Motor Panel

Keith Frampton, Director of Operations at Forces Insurance Ltd has been appointed Chairman of the British Insurance Brokers’ Association’s (BIBA) Motor Panel. Keith, who was previously the Deputy Chairman, replaces George Nicol who has now retired.

Jonathan Cumpstey, Group Compliance Officer from A-Plan Insurance Group has become the Deputy Chairman. He has been a member of the Motor Panel since March 2013.

Keith said: “I am delighted to take over the role of Chairman. George has done a fantastic job and he will be a hard act to follow. Hopefully, my unique knowledge and experience will also be of value to the Panel especially as we tackle Brexit issues and continue to support the Armed Forces Covenant.”

Jonathan commented: “It is a privilege to take over as Deputy Chairman of the Motor Panel at a time when so many challenges and opportunities are facing the market.”

Graeme Trudgill, Executive Director added: “We are very lucky to have respected brokers Keith and Jonathan step into these senior roles. The Motor Panel has a big agenda with autonomous cars, VNUK, CMA investigation, new FCA requirements, Brexit, Insurance Fraud Taskforce and the numerous issues around claims amongst other things. We are also very grateful to George Nicol for his leadership over the last 11 years and wish him well in his retirement.”



Should learner drivers be allowed on the motorway?

Government plans are being considered to allow learner drivers onto the motorways for the first time.
Transport minister Andrew Jones says the move would help make roads in Britain safer and would allow learner drivers to “get a broader driving experience, practice at higher speeds and put their theoretical knowledge into practice.”
Mr Jones said: “We have some of the safest roads in the world and we want to make them even safer.
He continued by saying;
“These changes will equip learners with a wider range of experience and greater skill set which will improve safety levels on our roads. We have some of the safest roads in the world and we want to make them even safer.”

Andrew Jones - The transport minister

Andrew Jones – The Transport Minister

For car drivers, the changes would mean that competent learners would be able to have lessons on motorways with an approved driving instructor in a dual controlled vehicle.

For those on motorcycles, the Compulsory Basic Training course – which allows them to ride unaccompanied on roads – would also be updated.

Motorcycle training would also require more online courses, with novice riders having to take a theory test.

RAC Director Steve Gooding backs the plans.

“The casualty statistics tell us that motorways are our safest roads, but they can feel anything but safe to a newly qualified driver heading down the slip road for the first time to join a fast-moving, often heavy, flow of traffic,” he said.

“Many are so intimidated by the motorway environment that they choose instead to use statistically more dangerous roads, so we welcome this move which will help new drivers get the training they need to use motorways safely.”



Quote Me Today – Proud sponsors of Faversham FC Strike Force

Proud to be involved in our local community, Quote Me Today has sponsored the kit for Faversham FC Strike Force’s under 12s kit.
The lads who play in the East Kent Youth League are having an indifferent start to the season having won just under half of their games. They have had a majority of away games so far in this campaign, with Christmas being the turning point to start bringing teams back to their home ground at the King Georges Playing Field in Faversham.

Faversham Strike Force Under 12s

Hopefully, with a shiny new kit we’ll help to insure a good run ahead for the lads, to help them motor on to the end of the season.
Club Manager, Gary Axford said, “There are many expenses connected with running the club and we rely on funding solely from our own fundraising events and the support of local businesses, so a huge thanks to for their support of the club and the Under-12s”.
We’re right behind you lads!

30 is the New 20 on Light Commercial Vehicle Insurance Groupings

The insurance group rating system for Light Commercial Vehicles is to be restructured for 2016, with an increase to 30 groups enabling improved differentiation between similar vehicles and therefore a more accurate reflection of risk.

Thatcham Research, who administer the insurance group rating process on behalf of the Association of British Insurers (ABI), will introduce the change from 1st January 2016, when the existing 20 group system will increase to 30 groups in order to increase the sensitivity of the rating scale, and to more clearly define differentials in vehicle size and performance.

All Light Commercial Vehicles which are grouped up until the end of December 2015 will fall under the existing 20 group system and will retain their current grouping. Those grouped from January onwards will be allocated with a group between 21 and 50 which is intended to clearly differentiate the system under which the vehicle was grouped.

The move to 30 groups reflects a similar change which took place on cars in 2009 when they were converted from a 20 to a 50 group system.  As with cars, the expanded grouping system on LCVs means that each model can be more accurately banded with vehicles of similar characteristics, making it possible to reflect additional factors including the presence and performance of standard fit Driver Assistance Systems such as Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB).

The new LCV 30 group system also brings with it the introduction of some new factors into the rating process including vehicle performance, vehicle dimensions, a new geometric bumper assessment, a change to parts pricing and repair cost calculations and a simplification of the existing security assessment.

Senior Group Rating Manager at Thatcham Research, Howard Barron, said “With the changes that are to be introduced in January 2016, the new Group Rating structure will deliver a totally fit for purpose risk based assessment of new LCV’s. The new system takes into account all pertinent factors and also now seeks to encourage and reward manufacturers for the standard fitment of innovative crash avoidance systems. This new technology is already proving to be effective in reducing accidents for cars where standard fitment is increasing across a wider range of manufacturers, whereas worryingly only two LCV models on the market are currently fitted with this important new technology, none yet as standard.”

This will be the first major change to LCV rating in over a decade, driven by insurers wanting a system that will deliver more accurate pricing and benefiting those drivers and fleets who choose safer, lower risk vehicles.

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