The government has confirmed its intention to increase the penalties for drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
However, the tougher law, which will be introduced early in 2017, has been accompanied by calls for companies to take greater responsibility in respect of employee use and more robust road traffic policing to catch offenders said to be at ‘epidemic’ levels.
Following analysis of responses to a consultation document published earlier this year, ministers have decided to:
•Raise the penalty points issued under a fixed penalty notice for the offence from three to six for all drivers
•Raise the fixed penalty notice fine from £100 to £200 for all motor vehicles.
Legislation implementing the change will now be laid before Parliament with the measures anticipated to be introduced in the first months of next year.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, said: “Addressing the growing problem of smartphone use whilst driving will require a combination of enforcement and education as well as drivers, passengers, companies and individuals taking more responsibility.”