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Keep Off Your Phone Whilst Driving or Lose Your Licence
Ministers want to double the existing punishment for people caught using their mobile phones whilst driving.
At the moment the punishment stands at 3 penalty points and £100 fine. New laws would change this to a £200 fine and 6 penalty points. This will be especially worrying for new drivers, as for the first two years after passing their test, drivers will lose their licences once they gain 6 points. This means any new drivers who risk using their phones, could lose their licence if caught.
The AA President admits that this is a harsh take on the situation but explains
“if we are to change the attitudes of young drivers maybe it has to be harsh”
Aren’t the current laws enough?
The road safety spokes person for the The Breakdown Organisation (Pete Williams) believes that at the moment drivers don’t really believe they will ever face consequences for using their phone whilst driving. Unless harsher action is taken to curb this brazen style of driving nothing will change.
Losing your licence means going back to the beginning. Unlike driving bans of 56 days or less, new drivers who are disqualified from driving will find themselves right back where they started – or worse. If you are banned ‘until extended pass’ you will have to take a longer, more expensive driving test in order to prove that you will be safe on the roads.
When you have completed your ban period, you will have to reapply as a provisional licence holder again. You’ll have to purchase a new provisional licence; pay for lessons if you’ve gotten a bit rusty; pay for a theory and a practical test and then sit through the long waiting times that the UK has for their driving test dates.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling notes that as technology progresses mobile phone use can happen everywhere at anytime, but there should be a time and a place for everything.
Chris Grayling comments
“It may seem harmless when you are replying to a text, answering a call or using an app, but the truth is your actions could kill and cause untold misery to others.”
If you know someone who often uses their phone whilst driving please persuade them to stop. It is a risk that no-one should take.
How to safely use your mobile whilst driving
- First and foremost don’t go driving if you are expecting a call
- Instead of getting your phone out whilst driving, it’s better to turn it off or switch it on silent, that way you won’t be tempted to check it.
- If you must keep your phone on, please do not answer it until you able to safely and legally pull over. You might have to call them back but it’s better than losing control and having an accident.