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Proposed penalties for driver’s hand-held phone use

  • For cars, vans, motorbikes – increase from 3 to 4 penalty points
  • Points double from 3 to 6 for drivers of larger vehicles such as HGVs
  • Fixed penalty increase from £100 to £150
  • First offenders to be offered educational course alternative to penalty – at discretion of police

PENALTIES are to get tougher for car and van drivers committing the potentially lethal crime of using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.

It is an offence that at the least can rocket insurance premiums and keep them high for up to five years but can also put business drivers off the road and out of a job – emphasising the need for employers to ensure business users have hands-free devices.

Penalty points on the licence will increase from three to four and the fixed penalty fine increase from £100 to £150 if the government proposals for higher mobile phone penalties pass consultation as expected.

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That’s for car and van drivers, and bikers.

For truckers, where the consequences of a collision through inattention can be much more severe, the plan is to double the points to six.

But for the first time there will be the chance of a points-and-penalty-fine escape road for first offenders, with education classes at the discretion of the police, as in minor speeding infringements. The government says this will be offered to “the vast majority of first time offenders”.

See Speeding: High costs of breaking the law.

Particularly at risk are new drivers who revert to being learners if they clock up six or more points in their first two years driving.

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