POLICE are out on the roads in Dorset in a week of action targeting drivers using mobile phones at the wheel.
The fixed penalty for being caught using a handheld phone is now six penalty points and a £200 fine.
Drivers caught twice will risk being disqualified from driving or a fine of up to £1,000. In recent years there have been a number of fatal collisions in North Yorkshire involving drivers using mobiles.
He added: “The misuse of a mobile while behind the wheel is totally unacceptable and North Yorkshire Police will be enforcing the new legislation fully from today”. For the majority of people, it’s not before time.
“Is it really worth the fine and points on your licence?”
AA president Edmund King said: “Too many drivers are addicted to their phones”.
But do they know exactly what the law is?
As well as increasing traffic operations, GMP will also be spreading the word on the new legislation and the dangers associated with using a mobile while driving as part of the #WrongForTheRoad social media campaign.
The campaign says you are twice as likely to crash text driving as you are drink driving.
But they will be out in marked and un-marked vehicles to keep an eye on things.
The harsher penalties were welcomed by Mark Shaw, Buckinghamshire County Council’s cabinet member for transport, who said seeing drivers using their phones at the wheel made his “blood boil”.
“I don’t think it’s severe enough”. “Don’t use your phone”.
“People will still want to do it for some reason but hopefully it’s a deterrent, especially the law that’s going to affect young drivers”. About 3,600 drivers were handed penalties in the last co-ordinated enforcement week, from 23-29 January.
Announced past year following a consultation, the fixed penalty for being caught using a handheld phone in the vehicle now doubles to six penalty points and a £200 fine – up from the previous three points and £100 penalty.
Why is it unsafe to use a handheld mobile device while driving?
The forces” inspector, Gavin Biggs, said he had “no sympathy’ for the drivers caught out under the new stiff penalties.
If your driving is found to be unsafe or you’re involved in a crash while using a mobile phone you could face further prosecution with higher fines and perhaps imprisonment.
“Car manufacturers and software developers should also create solutions to prevent phones from being used”.
Although, even when using a legal hands-free kit, drivers can still be charged with careless driving, unsafe driving or driving without due care and attention if the police believe that it affected their standard of driving.
“We have all seen examples in the press of the devastation that can be caused when a driver is not concentrating on the road”.