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Government doubles mobile phone penalty

Date: 08 November 2016   |   Author: Daniel Puddicombe

The Government has confirmed it is doubling the penalty for those who are caught using hand-held mobile phones while driving.

Following a public consultation on the matter those caught will now face a £200 fine and six points on their licence, up from the current £100 fine and three points. .

A Department for Transport spokesman told BusinessCar the new penalties will come in "as soon as possible in 2017", but added it could be delayed as the matter needs to debated in both Houses of Parliament.

According to the Government, 94% of respondents supported an increase in the fine and 94% supported an increase in the number of points issued.

However, Neil Greig, director of policy and research at road safety charity IAM Roadsmart, expressed disappointment that the Government did not implement a system for first-time offenders to be sent on mobile phone use education courses and said that drivers need to learn that their actions could kill.

"We want to see car companies, mobile phone makers and social media providers working together to develop technical solutions to hand-held mobile phone use in vehicles," he said. "It is essential that drivers get the clear message that if you are on the phone and have a fatal crash you can expect to go to prison for a long time. 

"Addressing the growing problem of smartphone use whilst driving will require a combination of enforcement and education as well as drivers, passengers, companies and individuals taking more responsibility," he added.