Enter Honest John's Kit Competition An awesome prize is up for grabs every week | No thanks

Mobile phone penalties doubled

Published 08 November 2016

IAM Roadsmart has advised that the penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving have doubled from this morning.

The Government has announced that from 8th November 2016, anyone caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving a car would be fined £200 and receive six points on the licence.

Last week, lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was jailed for 10 years when his HGV ran into a stationary car and killed a family of fourwhile he was distracted by his mobile phone.

Neil Greig, Director of Policy and Research at IAM RoadSmart , said: "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 had suggested that first time offenders to be sent automatically on a re-education course specifically tailored to mobile phone use and breaking the addiction to being constantly connected. But instead the government opted for harsher penalties for first time offenders.

Technical solutions already exist linking Smartphones to the comms systems in almost every current model of car, yet many drivers still don't bother to pair their phones with the systems.

Greig added: “It is essential that drivers get the message that if they are on the phone and have a fatal crash they can expect to go to prison for a long time."

IAM RoadSmart's mission is to make better drivers and riders in order to improve road safety, inspire confidence and make driving and riding enjoyable. It does this through a range of courses for all road users, from online assessments through to advanced driving and riding tests. IAM RoadSmart is the new trading name of the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) and was formed in April 2016 combining the IAM, IAM Drive & Survive, PDS and IAM Driver Retraining Academy. It has 92,000 members and at any one time there are over 7,000 drivers and riders actively engaged with IAM RoadSmart’s courses, from members of the public to company drivers, while the IAM Driver Retraining Academy has helped 2,500 drivers to shorten their bans through education and support programmes.

To find out more about IAM RoadSmart visit the new website www.iamroadsmart.com  

Comments

oldroverboy.    on 8 November 2016

GOOD!

Tenchman7    on 9 November 2016

Not seen this reported on the news yet?
Probably because of Trumpmania but on the bbc they are still saying it's due to come in next year!.

angelcyn    on 14 November 2016

All well and good, but two items are omited from that article, firstly the number of prosecutions has gone down drastically, not because less people are using mobles but because enforcement has dropped.

And secondly no mention of any extra measures (traffic police) to ensure it is carried out, so higher penalties for the few caught and little change in the numbers using phones.

crynshame    on 14 November 2016

Not before time. Though money to some folks who have it. £200, wont make a difference. Hit them hard by taking away their Licence and made to sit another test till they get it into their heads that driving and Mobile Phones are not compatible.

Paul Challice    on 14 November 2016

Police should run a camaign to target mobile phone users and hit them hard. Automatic ban for repeat offenders, doubling with each offence. Then it won't matter if you do have pots of money or a company to pay the fine.

kevin whooley    on 14 November 2016

the points are justified but the monetary penalty is way too low. £750-£1000 may start to register with people. Second offence should see a doubling of both .

diddy11cg    on 14 November 2016

Excellent news. There is enough death on the road without this unnecessary hazard. Surely there is enough cheap technology to cater for hands-free communication.

Whitmarsh1    on 14 November 2016

This affects only people who are holding a phone - and I don't see how that is much different from holding an apple or a bottle; it's not holding the phone that's the problem except, I suppose, that you have to look at a phone to dial or text, The real problem is having the brain dealing with a call and with driving at the same time - you only have to see how people's driving goes haywire when they're on the phone to realise that. A phone's being linked to the car doesn't help with the brain.

I think that phones and their in-car systems should be disabled when the car is moving except to be able to take messages, which the driver can deal with when he/she stops. I know that this goes against the modern imperative to respond instantly but that is better than killing someone.

Vivien Barber    on 14 November 2016

This affects only people who are holding a phone - and I don't see how that is much different from holding an apple or a bottle; it's not holding the phone that's the problem except, I suppose, that you have to look at a phone to dial or text, The real problem is having the brain dealing with a call and with driving at the same time - you only have to see how people's driving goes haywire when they're on the phone to realise that. A phone's being linked to the car doesn't help with the brain. I think that phones and their in-car systems should be disabled when the car is moving except to be able to take messages, which the driver can deal with when he/she stops. I know that this goes against the modern imperative to respond instantly but that is better than killing someone.

I wholeheartedly agree. When you are on the phone you are looking at the situation at the other end of the call. When talking to passengers, it is easy to just stop when the situation on the road demands it - they can see that, or be told. It is not necessary to be constantly connected. I realise that this makes passengers also unable to make/receive calls but so what? The world will not end if they can't either.
I like your solution of only receiving messages [preferably text] which are delayed until the engine is switched off. There's always the fool who will coast with the engine off so that he/she can be extra stupid. Can't legislate against utter stupidity.

Whitmarsh1    on 15 November 2016

Glad you agree. A passenger could always use a hand-held.

queserasera    on 14 November 2016

Tough up the penalty. Enforce it- this means more police doing their jobs.It's not their fault they are understaffed but it's no point in having laws and not being able to enforce them.
It's not just mobile phones that are the problem- it is anything that distracts the driver including sat navs. Most new cars now have so much advanced tech on the dashboard that the driver is easily diverted from properly driving the car.

SinisterPenguin    on 14 November 2016

They may as well set the death penalty for using a mobile - we all know its not enforced & idiots on mobiles will continue to get away with it.

   on 14 November 2016

I think if you are cought using a hand held mobile wile you are driving it should be an instent ban. coss there is no need for it at all and it is very dangerus .

jobbo231048    on 14 November 2016

We seemed to manage to have a life before mobiles, hit the idiots hard!!!
£1000 for first offence, 12 months ban and £2000 for a repeat offence

2wellies    on 14 November 2016

Car manufacturers very much at fault for all the tech, particularly touch screens, that visually and mentally detract from driving. Amazing that the busybodies in Brussels that come up with so much so-called safety regulations for so many things have let this slide through, or does the old cynic in me think that the car industry is too good at "lobbying" the Eurocrats.

Having said that, the use of personal handheld tech is utterly irresponsible and when detected (please more Police checking on bad driving not just easy speed enforcement), there should be no questions-asked 1 year ban and a fine proportional to annual income.

Johnfrog    on 14 November 2016

Great, but where have all the traffic Police gone? What's the point of a law if there is no one to enforce it?
Why not extend this to drivers smoking cigarettes? Doesn't involve the brain much but still very dangerous.

Farmerdoc    on 14 November 2016

Sadly, there is evidence that using a phone with bluetooth impairs concentration and the responsiveness of drivers, so the concern should be widened to research whether cars becoming smartphones on wheels enhance or impair overall road safety. Even with solid research that infotainment systems in cars are distracting and increase the risk of accidents, I cannot see car manufacturers ensuring that such systems are not accessible when on the move. The only solution would be for more education as legislation to restrict the use of infotainment systems on the move seems unlikely. How do you draw the line between changing the radio station and sending a voice activated text when driving down the M1 at 70mph?

g2gsoon    on 14 November 2016

With more and more dashcams in use all you need is a website to post your clips of offenders and the law should allow these to be used as evidence. Watch the number of prosecutions rise and then offences will drastically fall.

Harrovian    on 14 November 2016

I would agree with those who feel this does not go far enough, I used to manage train drivers and any driver caught using a mobile whilst driving was for dismissal.
I would make it a steep penalty, say £2500 for first time, plus points and a 2 year ban and £5000 fine for second offence to get the message home.
We managed perfectly well before mobiles and I do question the use of hands free and driving by Satnav as well, it all serves to distract and consequently puts lives at risk.

Caravan man    on 15 November 2016

Brilliant news,should be an automatic loss of license,and there insurance sky hi.
About time.

Add a comment

 

Ask Honest John

Value my car

Amount to borrow
Sorry. The minimum loan amount is £1000
To pay back over

My credit score

Best available rate 9.20%

Total repayment £9,304.93

Total cost of credit £1,804.93

£155.08

60 monthly payments

Apply now

Representative example

The Representative APR is 13.2% (fixed) so if you borrow £7,500 over 4 years at a rate of 13.2% p.a (fixed) you will repay £199.21 per month and repay £9562.20 in total.