The Penalty for Using a Mobile Phone When Driving May Double

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Leading UK law firm Accident Advice Helpline talks about the plans transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin proposed last week to increase penalties given for using a mobile phone when driving.

Accident Advice Helpline

Accident Advice Helpline

The penalty for drivers who use their mobile phone whilst driving could be doubled. Currently the penalty stands at a £100 penalty and 3 points added to their license; but last week transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said he is considering a suggestion put forward by Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe to change the penalty to six points.

This means that newly- qualified drivers could be banned after just one offense whereas more experience drivers could have their licenses revoked after two single offenses.

McLoughlin said that the high death tolls resulting from accidents caused by motorists who are distracted by making calls or texting had prompted him to consider a tougher crackdown as “the number of casualties has been absolutely appalling”.

48% of young adults admit to texting whilst driving*. Using a mobile phone when driving can be a huge distraction; losing attention for even a fraction of a second is enough time to cause an accident.

The first ban on using your mobile when driving came into place in 2003 but it could be getting even tougher. This is because in 2011, driving while using a mobile was recorded as a contributory factor in “23 deaths and 74 serious injuries” said McLoughlin. And although road deaths are falling year on year he also said that “one death is too many”.

Last year, Sir Bernard said: “If I was able to tomorrow, I would say you get six points for driving while using a phone: the problem at the moment is we are dishing out lots of tickets, somebody gets three points and they have got another three chances.”

The Government are also looking at increasing the on the spot fine from £100 to £150, but it has been said that a change in the law isn’t likely until after the next election. These changes follow research which shows that using a phone at the wheel can be more distracting than the effects of drink or drugs. The Transport Research Laboratory found sending a text slows reaction time by 37% whilst using cannabis delayed it by 21%, and drinking to the legal limit reduced reaction times by 13%. The highest was speaking on the telephone though slowed reaction times by a massive 46%.

A spokesman for Accident Advice Helpline, a leading law firm in the UK said “Talking on a mobile phone whilst driving, whether hand-held or using a hands-free kit causes mental distraction, which means you’ll be more likely to tailgate the vehicle in front, you could fail to see hazards and road signs, you’ll feel more stressed and frustrated and your reaction time will be slower.”

You can call Accident Advice Helpline at any time on 0800 689 0500 to speak to an advisor if you’ve been involved in a road traffic accident. They will be able to let you know if you are entitled to make a compensation claim for your injury and talk you through the process.

This press release has been created in accordance with the information from the article ‘Six points for using your mobile at the wheel’ published on 16th July through The Daily Mail.

*Statistics for young drivers useage of mobile phones have been obtained from The RAC Foundation pack published in July 2013.

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David Brown
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Accident Advice Helpline
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