Drivers face double points for phone use

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New legislation doubling penalties for using a mobile phone while driving is due to come into force on Wednesday.

Current rules mean drivers receive a three-point penalty and £100 fine for the offence, but new rules will see that increase to six points and £200.

A Twitter poll of 2,149 people by National Accident Helpline this month showed that 78 per cent of people were in favour of an increase in penalties.

WILL THE DOUBLING OF PENALTY POINTS AND FINES MAKE US SAFER DRIVERS? CLICK HERE TO JOIN THE DEBATE ON THE YEP FACEBOOK PAGE

Only 14 per cent were against an increase, while the remaining eight per cent said they weren’t sure.

But almost a third of those polled said the revised penalties ought to be even higher.

The company also carried out of Google survey this month of 2,000 UK drivers, which revealed almost a quarter admitted to having used a hand-held phone while driving in the last 12 months.

The National Accident Helpline studies were carried out to build on research from their Accident Awareness Week campaign in November, which highlighted the dangers of being distracted while out and about.

According the Accident Awareness Week research, 46 per cent of Britons have put themselves in danger because they’ve been distracted whilst walking or driving.

Simon Trott, managing director of National Accident Helpline, said: “Our Accident Awareness Week campaign highlighted just how much we’re being distracted by technology when out and about.

“With the new legislation about to increase penalties for using a hand-held phone while driving, we wanted to highlight how much people in the UK are being distracted by technology while driving.

“We know that this is one of the main causes of accidents on the road, and we welcome any change in the law that improves road safety.”

Mr Trott added: We hope the increase in penalties will help to deter drivers from being tempted to use their phones at the wheel.”

WHY WE USE PHONES AT THE WHEEL

The National Accident Helpline survey also revealed that people under 35 were 50 per cent more likely to have used a phone while driving compared to those aged 35 and over.

The survey asked what people were using their phones for when driving. The most common reason was adjusting a maps app (ten per cent), followed by making or receiving a call (nine per cent), texting (eight per cent), browsing social media (five per cent) and checking or sending a work email (four per cent).

Almost 50 per cent more men than women admitted to having used a phone while driving.

Michael Tennant.

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