Drivers back rise in fines for phone use at wheel

The UK government is considering raising the present �60 fine to �90 or �100. Picture: PA
The UK government is considering raising the present �60 fine to �90 or �100. Picture: PA
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MOST drivers will welcome increased fixed penalty fines for those using hand-held mobile phones while at the wheel, ­according to the AA.

The UK government is considering raising the present £60 fine to £90 or £100.

An AA/Populus survey of nearly 21,000 drivers showed that 74 per cent saw others using mobile phones on some or most journeys, with 25 per cent seeing it on every journey.

A total of 58 per cent said they had never used a hand-held phone in the car but, of the 42 per cent that have used a phone, 60 per cent said it distracted them.

Around 20 per cent admitted having used a mobile phone to send a text while driving, 4 per cent admitted checking 
e-mails and 2 per cent to sending 
e-mails on the move.

Also, 2 per cent have read Twitter or Facebook updates and 1 per cent have tweeted while at the wheel.

AA president Edmund King said: “This epidemic of hand-held mobile phone use while driving has already cost lives and our members are demanding action. An increase in the standard motoring fixed-penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences, including mobile phone use.”

He went on: “It is imperative that targeted police enforcement campaigns help to reinforce the message. AA members broadly support an increase in the level of the fixed penalty.

“Our members also fully support ‘education’, so for some offenders an awareness course may be all they need.

“It is worrying that the equivalent of six million drivers even admit to texting on the move. Action must be taken.”