Motorists And The Phone

Motorists And The Phone

The anticipated sales of various smart phone models in the UK for 2016 is expected to be 24 million hand-sets, up from 23.7 million in the year before. The predicted figure for 2018 is 25 million. The figures suggest that the population is saturated with them.

Comparing the figures with the number of drivers in the country, and the probability is that almost all drivers have a phone, and more than likely, a smart phone.

In all probability, true figures could never be established, as to how many drivers have used a phone whilst behind the wheel. Those that have used it a spare once or twice over the years, or those habitual users to whom the laws seem not to apply, are all part of the statistic, and all part of the new target of the Minister for transport.

The Minister, in the wake of falling prosecution figures for the offence, and a number of high profile accidents and fatalities caused by using phones whilst driving, has put forward a proposal to double the penalties currently given for phone usage at the wheel.

The law currently allows hands-free phone usage while driving, but anything that involves touching a handset, a tap or a sweep, can incur penalties. The standard penalty for using a hand held mobile device are three penalty points on the license and a fine of £100.

Under the new proposal, the fine would be a minimum £200, and six penalty points, this means that being caught again within the “life” of the first penalty points, may well result in disqualification. This new law soon to be passed is likely to be enforced for a period of time, leading to a lot of press coverage for drivers caught using their phones behind the wheel. If you fall into this category and don’t know how to defend the allegations made against you, ask for their advice and they will tell you free of charge how to keep your licence.

For drivers who have only obtained their full licenses less than two years, the six point penalty will mean not only disqualification, but a complete loss of license, meaning they will have to pass the complete two part driving test again.

For anyone having had their license revoked, the insurance loading, once renewed, will no doubt be onerous.

The determination from the Minister for transport is to raise awareness of the dangers of inattention and distraction whilst driving, and by dramatically increasing the punishment, to try and alter the general mind-set and attitude about driving and the phone.

The dramatic new sanctions are an attempt to bring social awareness around to categorising the offence and making it as socially unacceptable as drink and drug driving.

This could take some doing, especially for the generation who have never known life without the smart phone.