Increased Penalties For Using Mobile Phone While Driving

Today sees the new increased penalties for using a mobile phone while driving come into force across the UK.

Motorists caught using a phone while driving will receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine. This has doubled from the previous three points and £100 fine.

The rise in penalty points will mean an immediate ban for newly-qualified drivers who have a maximum of six points for the first two years after passing the driving test.

The Government announced last November that there will be no differentiation between car and HGV drivers when it comes to punishment. They also confirmed that a driver awareness course will not be offered to first-time offenders as an alternative to the fine, it's hoped this will be a stronger deterrent to make motorists think twice before using their phone.

Studies show that motorists using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are four times more likely to be involved in an accident as their reaction time to hazards is much slower.

Over the next week Police forces across the UK are taking part in an enforcement campaign, targeting drivers using their phone while driving.

The changes come after research showed more than 11 million motorists admitted using their phone while driving in the past year, 7% of these saying they did so because they knew they would get away with it.