The crackdown on use of mobile phones may be getting even more serious as there are reportedly plans to increase the fine for those found using handheld mobile phones illegally whilst at the wheel. The fine could be increased to £200 as there are worries about the number of collisions attributed to the use of mobile devices and fear that this number will only continue to grow.
The need to stop individuals using mobile technology at the wheel is becoming a core concern and some reports are even suggesting that the government are considering penalties for individuals using wearable technology such as the Apple Watch.
At present the penalty for being caught driving using a handheld mobile phone is a £100 fine and three penalty points and this was first introduced three years. Before that it had been £60. Research conducted throughout the years has actually found that driving whilst using a mobile phone for any purpose from social media to making calls can be more dangerous than driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Statistics show that in 2012 88 people were killed on the roads in the UK because of distracted driving and mobile phone use was to blame in 17 of these fatalities. Recent news has also seen the conviction of one woman for causing death by dangerous driving due to using her mobile phone.
More and more evidence is stacking up that mobile phone use is a concern for drivers, and a survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists found, people rate illegal use of mobile phones whilst driving amongst their core worries and concerns. Our blog post too from a few weeks ago looked at research which suggested less penalties for driving and dialling are being issued.
Deterring Driving and Dialling
Raising the penalty from £60 to £100 seems to not have had as big effect as the government were hoping so if they do choose to increase the fine further it could be the wake up dangerous and distracted drivers need to stop using their phones and start focusing on the roads.
Critics including road safety campaigners and representatives of the legal profession have expressed concern that it will make no difference, with some sources believing that more should be done to uphold the current legislation and penalty before tacking on a higher fine.
With mobile phone and device use leading to deaths and injuries on the roads every year, the risk simply isn’t worth it when best practice is simply to stop, turn off your engine and then deal with your phone.