Stricter implications coming into force for Drivers using mobile phones at the wheel
Theresa May is attempting to make using mobile phones at the wheel as unacceptable as drink driving by imposing new stricter regulations. These new rules came into force in September 2016. Before September, the fine for using a mobile phone was £100.00 and this has now doubled to £200.00. Points for using a mobile phone at the wheel have also doubled from 3 points to 6. The Prime Minister hopes that these strict new rules will deter drivers from texting and calling at the wheel.
Celebrity Lawyer, Mr Nick Freeman, also known as the “loophole lawyer” believes the new rules are not enough. He commented that increasing fines will not make a difference, as this has been tried time and time again, yet there has still been no change to the figures of offences. He believes that mobile phone usage should be put on a parity with drink driving, he states “Drink driving carries a minimum 12-month disqualification for a first offence, and my view is that there should be no difference for the illegal use of a mobile phone.”
New research has shown that Truck Drivers are the biggest culprits, with over 56% admitting to using their phones at the wheel. Alarmingly enough a further 27% admit to using social media such as Snapchat whilst driving. The Government are focusing on ensuring that people who kill or seriously injure whilst driving, are suitably punished and so we may see even further stricter rules come into the force in the future.
This week the Police in many parts of the UK, have started a week long campaign with the intention of cracking down on mobile phone usage whilst driving. Unmarked cars will be out in force and pulling over anyone they catch committing the offence.
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “Too many people still think it is acceptable to use their mobile phones while driving and are too easily distracted when behind the wheel of a vehicle.”
“When someone is killed or seriously injured by a distracted driver, it’s important to recognize that not only do these collisions have a life-long impact on the lives of victims, but also on their friends and families.”
Law firms have been known to obtain the phone records of the Defendant, to check if they were using their phone whilst at the wheel. If a person is found to have injured someone whilst driving and using their mobile phone, criminal proceedings could also be brought against them.