New penalties for drivers using mobile phones at the wheel doubled from 1st March to six points and a £200 fine. If one of your drivers gets caught using their handheld mobile phone at the wheel it could have serious implications.
These changes will have a significant impact on young drivers in particular as they risk having their license revoked following a first offence.
Police forces across the UK are co-ordinating week long enforcement operations and raising awareness of the new penalties for mobile phone use behind the wheel.
North Wales Police will be actively taking part with officers from the Roads Policing Unit carrying out dedicated patrols using marked and unmarked vehicles to target those flouting the law.
Inspector Dave Cust from the Roads Policing Unit said:
“Using a mobile phone behind the wheel remains a serious concern to police, along with drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving carelessly, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, whether it be texting, using an app, or making a phone call is classed as one of the ‘Fatal 5’; the 5 most common causes of fatal road traffic collisions”
In 2003 penalty fines were introduced at £30. In 2007 the fine was increased to £60 and points were introduced at 3 for all offending drivers. Then in 2013 the fine was increased to £100, despite this, there has been no sustained reduction in observed mobile phone use over time.
The number of fines issued for motorists caught using a mobile phone illegally has plummeted by 84% since 2011 and 6,900 drivers were handed fixed penalty notices in relation to the offence in England and Wales last year compared to a significant 123,100 in 2011.
Motoring groups believe the decline is due to a 27% fall in the number of full-time dedicated road policing officers in England and Wales (excluding London) between 2010 and 2015.
The Driving for Transport said;
“The evidence shows that young drivers are the most likely group to be observed using a mobile phone while driving. The majority of novice drivers are young people, below the age of 25, and, although it is recognised that this group will be disproportionately impacted, they are also likely to offend in the first place. Targeting this group with relatively higher penalties is thus likely to lead to greater behavioural change and more positive road safety outcomes”
As an employer you should always make sure your employees have a full understanding when it comes to driving safely to and from work, Safety Media provide a Driving safety interactive course to enable your employees to recognise which factors to look out for whilst on a journey. To find out more about the course please call us on +(0)1745 535000 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.