New penalties for motorists using mobile phones

Carla Harmon
March 1, 2017

Surrey & Hampshire Police are beginning a week-long crackdown on drivers using phones to coincide with the changes.

These new penalties reflect the seriousness of the offence and will strengthen the deterrent against using a mobile phone behind the wheel, however, we need people to understand that this is not a minor offence that they can get away with.

Acting inspector Douglas Livitt said the penalty for using a mobile phone or hand-held device whilst driving would double from a £100 fine and three penalty points to £200 and six penalty points.

In allowing them to continue driving, the courts are in effect telling them, you didn't kill or maim anybody this time - but you are free to go out there and try again.

Sussex Safer Roads Partnership has been running a campaign since January entitled It Can Wait and the National Police Chiefs Council is leading a week of enforcement to mark the changes, in which the county's police will take part.

In a Twitter poll more then 80% were aware the increased punishment was on its way.

Police forces across the country will be increasing patrols and cracking down on mobile use until 7 March. It may seem innocent, but holding and using your phone at the wheel risks serious injury and even death to yourself and other road users. Although mobile phones are seemingly essential to modern-day life, that does not mean you have to be on it or able to answer it every moment of the day.

The new penalties, announced by the Department for Transport, also mean that anyone who is caught on their phone within the first two years of driving could have their licence revoked as a result.

THINK! campaign has released videos in an added bid to discourage the offence.

According to the AA, you are twice as likely to crash texting while driving than you are drink driving.

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