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Taxi Newsroom
  • 20/03/2017

    New Penalties Introduced to Tackle Mobile-Using Drivers

    New Penalties Introduced to Tackle Mobile-Using Drivers

    New Penalties Introduced to Tackle Mobile-Using Drivers

    One of the road’s biggest safety issues is drivers using their phones while driving, looking at what’s going on with their friends rather than at the road ahead.

    Scotland Yard and the Metropolitan Police’s Roads and Transport Policing Command have launched new initiatives to tackle the issue of behind the wheel phone use, keeping the roads safer and dangerous drivers away from them. 

    Penalty increases

    On March the 1st, the penalty for texting or talking on a mobile when driving increased to a £200 fine and six points on your license. For new drivers, a six point penalty necessitates that the driver must retake both their practical and theory exams, while more experienced drivers are liable to be banned if they receive more than twelve points over a three year period.

    Simultaneously, the government has rescinded the previously available option of going on an educational course rather than receiving points. This is a move that many have said makes sense; as using a mobile while driving has now been illegal for nearly 13 years, it’s no longer a lesson that should need to be taught.

    The law                                      

    Since the 1st of March, 2003, it’s been illegal to use a mobile behind the wheel. Many people don’t realise the extent of situations that this applies to: it’s illegal to check your texts, go on social media, use a maps app or watch answer a call, regardless of whether or not you’re moving.

    The only time that you’re legally allowed to use a phone is when you’re either safely parked or it’s otherwise unsafe or impractical to stop.

    If you need to use a phone behind the wheel, the only viable option is to go hands-free. However, if it seems that your phone use is compromising your legal obligation to drive safely, you’re still liable for prosecution.

    What the Met had to say

     “Using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving means a driver’s attention is distracted from the road,” said RTPC chief inspector Colin Carswell. “After speeding, it’s probably the most dangerous thing a driver can do – leading to people being killed and injured on our roads. You’re slower at recognising and reacting to hazards if you are driving and using a mobile.”

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