Expect to see an increased police presence at major roads and accident hot spots Pic Tony Worrall
02 March, 2017, 00:35
GMP Inspector Tony Allt, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: "Unfortunately, there are still a number of drivers who selfishly continue to endanger the lives of fellow road users, as well as their own, by using a mobile phone while driving".
Tougher punishments introduced today will see motorists face six points and a £200 fine if they are caught using their mobile phone while driving.
Furthermore, new drivers (someone within two years of passing their test) risk having their licences revoked completely.
Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, National Police Chiefs' Council roads policing lead, said: "These new penalties reflect the seriousness of the offence and will strengthen the deterrent against using a mobile phone at the wheel".
In the continued crackdown on the use of mobiles whilst driving, North Yorkshire Police are warning motorists that from Wednesday 1 March 2017 the penalties for the offence double.
The first drivers to lose their licences for using a phone at the wheel were caught today after the penalty was doubled. When they pulled alongside in their unmarked vehicle they noticed a pet parrot walking along the top of the steering wheel with the driver appearing to talk to it.
He said: "This change in legislation underlines how seriously the authorities are taking driving while using your mobile phone and we are firmly supportive of the change".
Superintendent Chris Moon, head of the Roads Policing (RPU) for both forces, said: "Using your mobile phone while driving has always been a very risky activity, and is a reason for many serious crashes".
Despite the awareness that text driving is risky, however, they say there are still a number of high profile court cases involving drivers who have caused death and serious injuries as a result of using their smartphone while driving.
"Because you see people driving around using their mobile phones all the time and you see very few people being prosecuted for it at the moment so I don't know how they can actually carry it out".
"When I get into a auto I always make sure my phone is nowhere where I can reach it".
Despite 29 per cent of survey respondents saying that they would never use their phone at the wheel, a further 28 per cent admitted that it was acceptable to phone and drive in the event of an emergency.
Police forces will roll out extra patrols with an "increased focus" on stopping people using their phones while driving.
While the use of a hands-free kit will remain legal, road safety charity RoSPA advises that not even this should be attempted while driving.
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