The illegal use of mobile phones whilst driving

No doubt you will have noticed this weekend that the news has been slightly dominated by suggestions that ministers would like to double the punishment for the illegal use of mobile phones whilst driving.

Here at Diamond Solutions we totally understand people’s obsessions with their hand held devices, whether that be phone, tablet or phablet; but, we also know that safety comes first and there is never (and we mean NEVER) an excuse to use your phone when it is not sensible to do so.

As things stand any motorist caught using a hand held phone whilst driving (and that includes whilst stationary at a set of traffic lights) will receive a £100 fine, and three points on their license.  Under proposed plans this will increase to a £200 fine, and six points.

What this means for drivers is if you get caught twice in a three-year period, you will lose your license.  Of course, if you already have points on your license it will be taken away from you sooner than that.

For newly qualified drivers the rules are slightly different; if they receive six points within the first two years of passing their test they can have their license revoked.  This means they will have to pay for a new provisional license, and then retake both their theory and practical tests again.  Effectively sending just one simple text could cost someone the ability to drive.

However radical you may think these plans are, it’s important to remember that the same text message could cause another road user or pedestrian to lose their life.  Something certainly has to be done to ensure that people’s attitudes are changed, and that over time drivers are less inclined to take the risk.

According to figures posted by the RAC last week, 31% of motorists in the UK admit to using a hand held phone whilst behind the wheel.  This is an increase from just 8% in 2014.  As we become more addicted to our phones, and more conscious of forever being linked in to all things social media, it seems to be becoming more socially acceptable to text, or even Tweet, whilst driving.  It is this attitude that ministers and safety groups are hoping to challenge, and ultimately change.

What are your thoughts?  Do you think the penalties are harsh enough, or does more need to be done?  Would the risk of losing your license deter you from sending a quick message or do you think people are overacting?  Why not join us on our Facebook page, or Tweet us, to let us know what you think?  Just make sure you’re not driving at the time!

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