The Department for Transport announced on March 1st 2017 that both the penalty points and fine for using a mobile phone when driving have doubled. This means that drivers using their mobile phone while at the controls of a car face up to six penalty points and a £200 fine the first time they are caught. Being caught for a second time may mean up to 12 points, a trip to a magistrates’ court, a £1000 fine and disqualification from driving.
New drivers who are within two years of having passed their driving test will actually lose their licence, because this is the price of accruing six penalty points within that timescale.
Why have these legislation changes been made?
Simply put, using a mobile phone when driving is incredibly dangerous as it takes a great deal of attention away from the road and other traffic. It is all too easy to check a text message or social media when you should be paying full attention to driving, and it is believed that mobile phone use by drivers has increased over the last few years.
When the legislation changes regarding using your mobile phone when driving were announced, many media outlets reported that 22 people were killed, and a further 99 were seriously injured in road traffic accidents involving a mobile phone in the UK in 2016.
When it is legal to use a mobile phone when driving?
The only time you are legally allowed to use a mobile phone when driving is when you are safely parked and the engine is no longer running. Drivers are not allowed to use a mobile phone when they are stuck in traffic or waiting at traffic lights, despite what some believe.
What can you do if you are injured by a driver using a mobile?
Being injured in a road traffic accident is traumatic enough without having to consider the fact that it was caused by a driver using a mobile phone. Many road accidents are caused by negligence, but using a mobile phone when driving adds another layer of carelessness altogether.
If you are considering making a compensation claim, you can call Accident Advice Helpline on 0800 689 0500 (or 0333 500 0993 from a mobile) to see how we can help you. Contact our helpful team today and remember that most compensation claims do not need to go to court.
Date Published: March 1, 2017
Author: Rob Steen