Motorists caught using a hand-held mobile phone while driving will face much tougher penalties than currently, it has been reported.
The government, it is suggested, is planning to double the current punishment of a £100 fine and three points on the driving licence of the offender. What’s more the potential new minimum fine of £200 could rise to a maximum of £1,000 with offenders also receiving six penalty points.
The new penalty regime, which has yet to be officially confirmed by the Department of Transport but was widely reported by national newspapers last weekend, also means that new drivers - who can only accumulate six points in the first two years after passing their driving test before being banned - will face the immediate loss of their licence if they are caught using a hand-held phone at the wheel.
The anticipated increase in penalties for drivers caught using a hand-held mobile phone are expected to be introduced on a date yet to be announced in 2017. However, if the reports are correct, it means the outcome of the government’s consultation on higher penalties for handheld mobile phone use will be harsher than previously thought with the document outlining that the minimum fine could increase from £100 to £150 and three points rising to four for non-HGV drivers and from three to six points for HGV drivers.
The use of a handheld mobile phone while driving was made a criminal offence on 1 December, 2003.