Drivers using mobile phones could get four penalty points in future
19 January 2010

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.

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19 January 2010

It seems fair - using a hand-held phone while driving is dangerous. And it should be a double penalty for texting while driving.

19 January 2010

Why bother increasing penalties. I see people driving every day while talking on their phones, but I never see officers policing and enforcing. This is just lazy, headline grabbing politics that acheive nothing. In the same category as littering offences that have recently been increased, but again they are not policed. Laws for the sake of headlines with no police enforcement. If the police can't be bothered turning up to a housebreak in, I'm pretty sure that they are not that bothered with a mobile phone offence which shows with people disregard for these weak laws.

19 January 2010

Wonderful. If we could just get traffic police to actually enforce the existing penalties it would be even better.

If I want an autonomous car, I'll take a taxi.

19 January 2010

Everyone has seen people driving poorly when on the mobile - at best they're usually driving slowly and erratically, but we've probably all seen people doing something dangerous while on the mobile. I can't see how anyone can argue against stiff fines and penalties.I personally think it should not just a points and fine issue, but also a court appearance if caught. You could kill of injure someone just because of a phone call - madness.

Without the law being formally changed the police can't enforce new penalties anyway, so change the law and then improve enforcement. Another big subject, but more visible policing would be a good way to cure a lot of ills, motoring and otherwise, it's just we have to agree to pay for it.

19 January 2010

[quote Pauldalg]I can't see how anyone can argue against stiff fines and penalties.[/quote]

This does not preclude the idea that they will change nothing.

Before we can praise such action and enforcement, we should understand what the problem is. The problem here is not the mobile phone but general bad driving that occurs without any kind of electronic device. Most that cause problems on the road are not hiolding a phone.

Enforcing such in this way only helps with crime statistics, not road safety. Making something a crime does not save lives.

19 January 2010

I didn't mean to come across against the increase in penalty. I am just tired of hearing about new and changed laws, while I see no evidence of any enforcement. I beleive it is dangerous and irresponsible. I would be in favour of higher penalties, loss of license and court appearances for this behaviour. It just must be policed. This is not happening and there seems little interest.

19 January 2010

Perhaps they will also do something about the 1000's of vehicles with non working lights, no insurance, tax, smoky exhuasts etc i see the same vehicles every day using driving lights i thought that was a spot fine

19 January 2010

[quote matt29]I didn't mean to come across against the increase in penalty. I am just tired of hearing about new and changed laws, while I see no evidence of any enforcement. [/quote]

I think we all got your point Matt- you're absolutely right, none of this makes a bit of difference all the while the Police unwilling/incapable of enforcing many of the laws that we have already.

Ignoring that statement for a moment, I would be quite happy to see an automatic ban of three months or so as a penalty.

19 January 2010

Agree with Fred. Driver sending sms should death sentenced.

19 January 2010

[quote VDG.CZ]Agree with Fred. Driver sending sms should death sentenced.

That seems a bit harsh. Maybe just a flogging and 20 years jail?

I agree with the general thrust of the argument about enforcement, though. A visible police presence is the best way to moderate bad driving. I believe there's nothing like the sight of a cop car in your rear-view mirror to make you behave. Over here (Perth) we used to have lots of cops on bikes (Motoguzzis), but now the bikes are all being sold off because of OH&S concerns!!


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