Crackdown on drivers who phone
TOUGHER penalties for using a mobile phone while driving are to be introduced, it was announced yesterday.
Motorists who use their mobile at the wheel will soon be given three penalty points on their licence, and the fine is to be doubled to 60.
The harsher punishments are to be introduced because ministers believe the 30 fixed penalty introduced last December is not working because it is not a sufficient deterrent.
Anyone caught four times driving while talking on their phone could now collect 12 penalty points and risk losing their licence.
A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: "We are looking to put the points penalties into a new Road Safety Bill.
"It will be on the statute books within 18 months to two years."
Surveys have shown that the 30 fines have little effect.
The figures show that just 20 per cent of offenders were deterred by the cash penalty.
But an AA study showed that drivers were up to six times more likely to have a crash if they were talking on their mobile while driving.
An AA spokesman said: "Using a hand-held phone while driving could already be enough to send you to prison if you are involved in an accident."
Police recommend all mobile users fit a hands-free unit to their car to avoid a charge.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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