Drivers who are caught using their mobile phones at the wheel could face fines of up to £150 and four penalty points if new government plans are approved.
Proposals to bring in bigger punishments are part of the government’s Road Safety Plan and are targeted towards those drivers who repeatedly re-offend. Currently, the fine for using a mobile device while driving is £100 and three penalty points, which was increased from £60 in 2013.
HGV drivers would face the harshest punishment, collecting six penalty points if they’re caught using a mobile phone at the wheel. It’s understood the larger increase for lorry drivers is designed to reflect how much more severe accidents involving HGVs can be.
Under the scheme, first-time offenders will still be offered an educational course rather than a fine.
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said he wants to see using a phone while driving become a “social taboo, like not wearing a seatbelt”.
McLoughlin added: “Using a mobile phone while driving is reckless and costs lives. The message is clear: keep your hands on the wheel, not your phone. If you keep taking calls at the wheel, you could end up being banned from the road.”