Currently reading: Government plans new crackdown on drivers using mobile phones
Using a mobile phone at the wheel could lead to a £150 fine and four penalty points under proposed tougher legislation

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.”

Figures from the Department for Transport show that there were 1775 road deaths on UK roads in 2014, a 4% rise on the previous year. The use of a mobile phone was a contributing factor in 21 fatal accidents in 2014. Research conducted by the Road Safety Observatory concluded that "talking on a hand-held mobile phone impairs driving more than driving above the drink drive limit". 

The president of the AA, Edmund King, said: “This epidemic of hand-held mobile phone use while driving has already cost lives and drivers have demanded action. Three-quarters of drivers see others using mobile phones on some or most journeys, with one-quarter seeing it on every journey, according to our polls.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists welcomed the proposa. Chief executive officer Sarah Sillars said: "Safe driving is everyone’s responsibility and more must be done to catch drivers using these devices dangerously by increasing the fines and points for smartphone and tablet use at the wheel. There is simply no excuse. 

“The majority of drivers will welcome these increased fines and penalty points, alongside driver improvement courses, to tackle those who use hand-held mobiles at the wheel.”

The issue is currently open to public consultation until 15 March, with the new penalties due to be put in place in July 2016. 

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Peter Cavellini 22 December 2015

Chestnut anyone?!

No matter what fine or ban is imposed,you will still see Drivers with a Mobile in there hands,some Mobile users are addicted to them,they can't not be in contact with or surf where ever whatever they are doing.A better idea would be to either make Mobiles not work while the Vehicle is moving,or,start building Cars with a pairing connection so that you haven't got a Mobile in your hand,i'd personally go for,if the later isn't workable,that Mobiles can't be answered unless you stop,yes, that sound a bit off the Wall,but,what other suggestions are out there?
Adrian987 21 December 2015

Foreign vehicles

How will these measures be applied to foreign vehicles/foreign licence holders?
Greenracer 21 December 2015

phoning at the wheel

I wish the government would stop 'pussy footing' about the penalties for this. Make it a £1000 fine or your car crushed. 11 points on the licence too. There is NO excuse.