Driving Down Mobile Phone Use
The mobile phone has come a long way in a short number of years, from a weighty brick sized lump, via the fixed car phone, to be miniaturised, slender, lightweight and inseparable from pocket or purse.
The smart phone has swept among us with the speed of an epidemic, and put the world of social media at our finger tips, virtually any time, anywhere, and in particular, the younger age groups.
What this has done is to produce a compulsion, or at least an acceptance that much of the waking hours will be spent on social media and social interaction by smart phone, and it has become highly necessary to draw a firm line between it and at least one major activity, that of driving.
The use of mobile phones when driving has for many years been discouraged, and treated in a similar fashion to driving without due care and attention. The penalties administered for those apprehended for doing so, have generally been the same, roughly the equivalent of being caught eating a sandwich while driving.
Those penalties have usually meant a fine of £100 and three penalty points on the driving license.
However, most likely as smart phones have gained prominence, and presumably driver attention as a consequence, more and more accidents are being reported that have been attributable to the driver paying attention to the phone rather than the road.
In the wake of a series of high profile and tragic accidents the Government are putting in place not just an increase in the penalties for using it, but doubling the penalties as a minimum… there is also talk of life sentences for causing death while using a mobile phone…. if you are caught using a mobile while driving it is a serious offence, don’t take a chance in court, get the best legal advice from Patterson Law Road Traffic law Specialists and defend your driving licence.
The Government’s aim is to focus awareness of the problem, and to equate the dangers of it to those of drink-driving, and to make it as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.
It has been confirmed that by early 2017 those caught on their phones while driving will face on the spot fines of a mini um of £200, and the penalty points awarded doubled to six.
For new drivers, that is, those who have not completed their first two years with a full license, this could mean one offence and disqualification.
Research shows that a disproportionate number of those caught using phones have been either young or new drivers.
For other drivers this can mean two strikes within three years, and a tally of twelve points which can lead to a court appearance or instant disqualification.