As of March 1, 2017, anybody caught using mobile phones whilst driving will receive six penalty points and a fine of £200.
The tougher ruling, now doubling the punishment, comes into effect to swiftly tackle the increased use of mobile phones behind the wheel.
Last year, the RAC revealed that handheld mobile phone usage at the wheel had increased from 8% in 2014 to a staggering 31% today. This stat equates to an astonishing 11 million people who are severely distracted by their phone when driving.
Not only are phones being used to make calls but texting, posting on social media, taking photos and videos are now becoming everyday occurrences. The RAC equates this to around 5 million motorists taking selfies whilst driving!
The deadliest distraction: the mobile phone
Here are some sobering stats courtesy of road safety charity, Brake:
Also remember, mobile phone use is illegal at the wheel even if you are stationary in traffic or at a set of traffic lights.
Remove the temptation
The simplest way to ensure you are not tempted to use your phone behind the wheel is to remove the temptation completely. Therefore, switch your phone off and put it out of sight.
If you need to make a call, pull over and switch off the engine.
Furthermore, for new drivers, six points could mean an automatic revoking of their licence. Ask yourself, is that one text or twitter post worth losing your licence over?
For business users behind the wheel, driving could be your livelihood. Using your phone whilst driving could cost you your licence, your job and who knows what else.
For Fleet Managers, ensure your Fleet Policy is very clear on your company’s standpoint when it comes to mobile phone use when driving.