In recent years, the government have done well to create a stigma attached to using a mobile phone whilst driving – similar to the way the public has been educated to view drink drive offences. In addition to this stigma however, they have now taken the step to ensure that any sentences reflect the public view of seriousness too.
As of March 1st 2017, driving laws will change significantly when it comes to using a mobile telephone whilst driving as the government attempts to make that “quick call” whilst driving an absolute no-no.
Previously the punishment for a motorist using their phone while driving amounted to a £100 fine and 3 penalty points on their licence. This has now been deemed too lenient a punishment following an alarming rise in motorists breaking the law. There has also been a significant increase in fatalities caused by a driver using their phone at the wheel – which now accounts for around 20 fatalities per year.
As a result, the Government have announced the change in penalty for anyone breaking the law. Points on your licence will rise to 6 and the fixed penalty fine will double to £200.
It is anticipated that the courts will have little regard for defences and excuses for such offences except in extremely limited emergency situations.
With the rise in technology, our mobile phones now act as not only telephones but also gaming devices, media players, cameras, maps and more which can make it easy for them to distract us but even just moment of lost concentration while driving can have devastating consequences.
As the government’s new campaign comes into action, it is hoped that more people will think twice and put their phone out of reach or on silent to avoid getting distracted and earning themselves the extra points and fine.
At Farleys Solicitors, we have a specialist team of solicitors with experience in motoring law. Should you have any queries or concerns please contact our motoring law specialists on 0845 287 0939 or submit your enquiry online.