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#Drivers Face Tough New Penalties For Using Hand-Held #Mobile

By 9th June 2018 April 26th, 2019 No Comments

​New penalties explained, how many points for a ban, plus the percentage of motorists that currently break the law.
Penalties for using a hand-held mobile
The Government plans to double the penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone behind the wheel in the first half of 2017, it confirmed. Drivers in England, Scotland and Wales that (say) text or answer a call will receive six penalty points – rather than three as present – and the fine will increase from £100 up to £200.

Number of penalty points for a ban
Experienced motorists can be banned if they collect twelve points in total. Exceptions, however, include those that successfully argue a ban would cause undue hardship such as (say) loss of career. The Government confirmed that likely ban scenarios include:

six month ban for receiving twelve, or more, points within three years;
twelve month ban for receiving a second disqualification within three years;
two year ban for receiving a third disqualification.

On this basis, six penalty points for using a hand-held mobile equates to a two strike and out rule. Motorists that are banned for fifty-six days or greater must later apply for a replacement licence and – perhaps – pass the practical/theory driving test too.
Drivers that passed the practical test within the last two years can be banned if they receive six points, in contrast. A single phone offence will, therefore, be enough for a ban. New drivers must resit both the practical and theory test to reclaim a licence. 
Survey reveals driver behaviour
The RAC claimed that the number of motorists that use a hand-held mobile phone is of “epidemic proportions”. It added that attitudes have changed for the worse since 2014. Its 2016 research suggested:

  • the percentage of motorists that claim it is “acceptable” to “take a quick call” is fourteen (compared to seven in 2014);
  • the percentage that claim it is “safe” to check social media while stationary in traffic is twenty (compared to fourteen in 2014);
  • the percentage of motorists that text, e-mail or post to social media is nineteen (compared to seven percent in 2014).

Pete Williams, RAC Road Safety Spokesman, said: ‘Toughening the fine and the penalty points will help to deter people from doing it in the first place.” 

​“However, it is just as important that laws are seen to be enforced. The decline in the numbers of dedicated road traffic police has only heightened the feeling that those who use a hand-held phone while driving simply get away with it”, Williams added.

Police ready to enforce new rules
Suzette Davenport, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, said: “We will support these new measures with local action and national operations to keep our roads safe.” Ms Davenport continued: “Drivers also need to take responsibility and exert some social pressure on family and friends who take the risk”

Tim Kelly

Tim Kelly

Tim is a highly qualified Independent Engineer with over 20 years experience as an Engineering Assessor of damaged vehicles.

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