Fines triple for mobile phone drivers
PROSECUTIONS against Lothian motorists using mobile phones while driving have soared in the past year.
Across Scotland, a total of 2122 motorists have now been taken to court for the offence since the ban on using hand-held mobiles while driving came into force in December 2003. A year ago, the figure was 625.
In Lothian and Borders, prosecutions more than tripled - from 71 a year ago to 274 now.
A total of 188 were prosecuted in Edinburgh, 49 in Linlithgow and 12 in Haddington.
The figures have been published by the Lord Advocate Colin Boyd in a written parliamentary answer to Scottish Nationalist MSP Brian Adam.
Last autumn it was revealed more than 3400 drivers in Lothian and Borders had been hit with 30 on-the-spot fines since the ban came in.
Fines are due to double later this year and offenders will incur penalty points on their licence.
Earlier this week a survey found huge numbers of motorists risked causing accidents by driving while using their mobile phones.
More than half of motorists still talk and text on their phones while on the move despite the ban on hand-held mobiles in vehicles, according to the poll in Auto Trader magazine.
Mr Adam said he had raised the issue after a constituent was involved in a near miss with a driver using a hand-held phone.
He said: "I was not expecting the figures to be so high, but they show the law is beginning to bite.
"I hope it will not take too long to see the number of cases dropping."
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