It seems the worry of double licence points and twice the fine has not been enough to encourage some drivers to put down their mobiles.
New research by motoring firm RAC, suggests millions of motorists in the UK are still using their mobile phones while behind the wheel despite harsher penalties for offenders coming into force in March this year.
The new penalties mean motorists face a £200 fine and six licence points if they’re found to be breaking the law – up from the previous sanctions of £100 fine and three points.
Results from a survey of 1,727 drivers find more than a quarter (26%) of drivers aware of the law changes for illegal mobile phone use haven’t been discouraged from the practice. If this ratio is applied to Britain’s 40 million drivers, there could potentially be 9.2 million motorists breaking the new laws.
More than one in 10 (11%) drivers say they are unaware of the changes, so this figure could be even higher.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams has called the situation “dire” and says motorists flouting the law have reached “epidemic levels”
“More has to be done to educate drivers that any use of a hand-held phone at the wheel is both illegal and presents both a mental and a physical distraction that could ultimately cause a crash and the loss of life,” continued Mr Williams.
Call for action
The motoring organisation says responsibility ultimately falls upon motorists.
“Drivers need to take more responsibility when they get behind the steering wheel and think seriously about whether choosing to pick up a hand-held mobile phone is really worth the risk,” Mr Williams added.
However, he’s calling on the government and safety campaigners to drive home the dangers of being distracted at the wheel and highlight the potentially fatal consequences.
Date Published: October 12, 2017
Author: Jonathan Brown