The new driving penalties introduced on 1st March 2017 by the Department for Transport state that, any driver issued with six points within two years of passing their test is automatically disqualified. They will then have to retake both their theory and practical driving test.
If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, and have been driving for more than two years, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200.
The first young person to lose their licence was a 19-year-old boy, he said that he was using his phone to find a garage to change his tyre. But the new law states that you can only use your phone if you’re safely parked and your engine is switched off.
According to a survey by Co-op insurance in 2015, 22 people were killed and 99 were seriously injured in mobile phone related accidents in Britain. A survey conducted by the AA also found that some insurance companies would refuse insurance to those who are caught and fined.
Road and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) chief inspector Colin Carswell said, “Using a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving means a driver’s attention is distracted from the road and is, after speeding, probably the most dangerous thing a driver can do – leading to people being killed and injured on our roads.”
It has been against the law to use a handheld mobile while driving since 2003. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or to check social media. Motorists are allowed to use their hands-free devices, but must not press any buttons on their phone to make calls.
Chief inspector Colin Carswell goes on to say, “making a call or sending a text is distracting and can have very serious consequences. The grief of a family who have lost a loved one following a traffic collision is immeasurable.”
What I think?
I think using a mobile whilst driving is very dangerous, and they should increase the penalty to £500. Many drivers know they shouldn’t be driving and using a mobile phone, so I think the Government need to introduce campaigns, and adverts to make the consequences of dangerous driving more aware.
Young people are more likely to be distracted by social media, and therefore are more at risk. I find this new law interesting, because in the future it will apply to me.