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.
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.