People who use their mobile phones while driving could face stiffer penalties in future. The Department for Transport (DfT) is considering plans to increase the current punishment of a £60 fine and three points.
Increasing the penalty to four points would mean that drivers caught three times would lose their licence.
Answering questions in the House of Lords last week, Lord Adonis, the Secretary of State For transport said that he is considering increasing the penalty for those who flout the ban on mobile phone use.
“We’re reviewing our road safety strategy. We want to do more to discourage people from playing with their phones when they’re driving,” said a DfT spokesperson.
A bolder long-term road safety strategy comes into force this year that aims to make Britain’s roads the safest in the world. The DfT says it will do this by focusing on the roads, people and behaviours most associated with accidents. But so far most of the focus has been on “gross speeding” and driving under the influence.
Research by the UK’s Transport Research Laboratory revealed a significant increase in the use of mobile phones by motorists in London. It said that such drivers are four times more likely to crash.Heavier penalties sound sensible then, but how sound is the overall strategy? One of its shortcomings could be its assumption that cars’ safety systems will not progress beyond their 2007 levels for the next decade.
Proposals to lower the 60mph speed limit on the most dangerous rural roads and plans to make speeding as “socially unacceptable as drink-driving” might be more restrictive than necessary.