Motorists Caught Twice Using A Mobile Phone Whilst Driving Will Be Banned, Says Government

Punishment Could Rise To £1,000 Fine And Six Points On Licence

19.09.2016

Saffron Otter, Press Officer | 0114 276 4666

Serious injury lawyers at Irwin Mitchell welcome new government plans to ban and fine motorists up to £1,000 if they are caught twice using mobile phones whilst driving.

Following a rise of fatal accidents on the road, Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, will impose much tougher penalties on drivers using mobile phones.

RAC research has found that illegal use of mobile phones by drivers is on the rise – after a third of drivers admitted to using a hand-held device when driving, compared to eight per cent in 2014. 

Media report that the possible government plan would be to double the current punishment for a driver using a mobile phone of £100 fine and three points on the licence of the offender.

The fine could be raised to £200 on-the-spot fine to a maximum of £1,000 for anyone calling, texting, or using a mobile phone app whilst driving, as well as marking six points on the offender’s licence. 

This rise in punishment could mean an immediate ban if new drivers are caught using a phone at the wheel as within the first two years of passing their test, they can lose a maximum of six points before being banned – 12 points for an experienced driver. 

Government figures show mobile phone use at the wheel has been a contributing factor to 492 accidents in 2014 - 84 of which were classified as serious, and 21 were fatal accidents. Mobile phone use at the wheel also contributed to 22 fatal accidents in 2015. 

It is expected that the new punishments will take effect within the first half of 2017. 

Claire Newstead, serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell, said: 

Expert Opinion
“We welcome the new government plans to impose stricter regulations on drivers using mobile phones.

“Not only is it illegal to drink and drive, or take drugs and drive, but they are taboos that are widely frowned upon by society. Driving whilst using a mobile phone needs to have the same level of negative outlook whereby driving whilst texting or calling someone shouldn’t be classed as acceptable or the norm.

“We are surrounded by technology but once in front of the wheel, putting your phone away needs to be raised as a crucial issue as this distraction can lead to devastating fatal crashes, as proved by government figures and that we have sadly found with some of our clients.

“We look forward to seeing the government plans in place next year to help combat this growing problem.”
Claire Newstead, Partner

Irwin Mitchell shows its commitment to road safety through the #SaferJourneys campaign which was created to raise awareness of the prevention of accidents on the road. Read more here.