Are you addicted to your phone, even when driving? It’s a serious problem for many, even though we’ll all surely remember horrific road accidents caused by dangerous drivers using their mobile phones whilst at the wheel of their vehicle?
So will the latest driver penalties act as a deterrent to motorists here or not?
Goodyear Tyres isn’t at all sure.
What Are The New Driver Penalties?
On 1 March 2017 the penalty for using a hand held mobile phone whilst at the wheel of a car doubled to a total of six licence points and a fixed penalty of £200.
New motorists who do this whilst holding a driving licence for less than two years will be fined the same amount but they’ll be instantly banned there and then (they only have an allocation of six licence points to begin with) and will have to retake their practical and theory tests before driving again – providing they can convince an insurer to cover them that is.
More experienced drivers can also be banned if they collect 12 points in three years.
Is This Going To Make A Difference?
Prior to this change, recent research from Goodyear Tyres UK suggests that almost a quarter (23%) of young motorists said the risk of being prosecuted would not affect their mobile phone use behind the wheel.
Kate Rock, Goodyear’s PR and corporate communications manager, said,
“It’s absolutely imperative that more education is provided to make drivers aware of the potential dangers of the road and the distractions around them, so that safe driving becomes second nature.
“We have found that mobile phone use is still prominent especially in young drivers. Worryingly, our extensive research revealed that 42% of young drivers have admitted to using their mobile phone behind the wheel and almost one quarter (23%) said the risk of being prosecuted would not affect this. Driving is a serious matter and we hope this change in law makes motorists think about their actions, to stay focused on the task in hand.”
Hear hear Kate.