mobile phones whilst driving – Are the Laws working?
Mobile phones whilst driving, texting Drivers – Are the Laws working?
Almost everyone has a mobile phone nowadays — from teenagers to OAP’s – and whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, it would appear that more and more people are unable to put their phones down when it isn’t appropriate to use them, for example using mobile phones whilst driving.
Sending a quick text, tweeting something, updating your Facebook status or even taking a quick phone call are all deemed acceptable by a high proportion of drivers on the road despite the laws governing the use of mobile phones whilst driving.
So are the laws working? Has there been a reduction in the number of incidents? And what age are the people still doing this?
The Law on mobile phones whilst driving
In 2007, the government introduced a law on the use of mobile phones whilst driving.
Using a handheld mobile phone for the purposes of chatting texting or even checking email whilst behind the wheel became an offence for which offenders could be given penalty points and a £60 fine. This was later increased to £100 and 3 penalty points.
It is expected that in the early part of 2017 new rules will come into force regarding the use of mobile phones whilst driving, and these changes could see a much tougher penalty being imposed on drivers who fail to follow the law.
Both points and fines are set to double so drivers could expect to get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine.
Newly qualified drivers who are caught for the first time could even be made to re-sit their tests and if they get 6 or more penalty points within 2 years of getting their licence will lose it.
Experienced drivers who have offended twice should be prepared to go to court and face fines of at least £1000 and a minimum 6-month ban from driving.
The Facts about mobile phones whilst driving
When it comes to the latest facts on using mobile phones whilst driving the RAC 2016 Annual Survey makes interesting reading.
More and more people are concerned about the number of drivers using their mobiles whilst driving 41% compared to 34% in 2015. With 31% of those motorists surveyed admitting to using their phone whilst driving and 20% believing it is safe to text or check social media it is clear that, whist the laws exist and people are aware of them they are not working.
seatbelt-and-mobile-use-surveys-2014 show that motorists in the 17-29 age bracket are most likely to use their mobiles whilst behind the wheel, that more men than women use their phones whilst driving and rather worryingly that by a huge percentage van drivers are the largest group of motorists ignoring the law when it comes to the use of mobile phones whilst driving.
Recently in the news we saw the tragic death of a female off duty police women in her Clio which was hit by a lorry. In court it was said by Helen Guest, prosecuting “Danny Warby, 28, was driving the 13.6-tonne white DAF lorry along the A141 in Cambridgeshire when he opened a text message on his iPhone”
Whilst the numbers of people ignoring the law went down when the fine was first increased, the figures show that this was only short term and numbers have been climbing ever since, yet the number of convictions has decreased.
It’s therefore pretty clear that harsher action needs to be taken to avoid the number of road accidents due to mobile phone usage climbing further.