Motorists could face harsher penalties for using a mobile phone at the wheel if new plans from the government are implemented.
Drivers caught using a phone while driving would face a raised penalty fine of £150, an increase of £50 over the previous figure.
The government is also planning on increasing the amount of penalty points given for the offence from three to four. Drivers of large vehicles such as HGV’s would also receive six points rather than three.
The larger increase in the amount of penalty points given to HGV drivers reflects the seriousness of accidents involving large vehicles.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin told the BBC: “Using a mobile phone at the wheel is reckless and costs lives – I want to see it become a social taboo like not wearing a seatbelt.
“The message is clear: keep your hands on the wheel, not your phone. If you keep taking calls while at the wheel, you could end up being banned from the road.”
The government has reported that the use of mobile phones contributed to 21 fatal accidents and 84 serious accidents in 104, with 1,775 people killed. A total of 22,807 people were also seriously injured as a result of phone use in 2014.
Suzette Davenport, from the National Police Chiefs Council told the BBC: “Drivers must continue to be aware not only of the risks posed by being distracted by mobile phones while in control of a car but the serious penalties which they will face if they are caught.”
After completing his university studies in English and Creative Writing in Cardiff, Jack is now a full time motoring writer at Blackball Media. His love of cars stems from his childhood years when he began to live and breathe all-things automotive.