Civil servants are considering doubling the fine for those caught driving while on their mobile, as increasing the penalty from £60 to £100 hasn’t deterred many motorists from using their phone on the move. This would mean that those spotted texting or speaking on their phone could find themselves £200 out of pocket.
Forming part of a crackdown on the most dangerous driving on UK roads, chiefs in Whitehall are looking to show motorists how seriously the government takes phone-driving, by issuing steep on-the-spot fines.
The penalty issued to drivers already nearly doubled back in 2013, but this has failed to cut the number of drivers texting and talking on their phones, with the Department for Transport publishing figures that suggested that half a million drivers every day were still breaking this law, The Mirror reports.
The penalty was raised from £60 to £100 but it has turned out that is not enough. It has not proved a deterrent.
A government source told the paper: “The penalty was raised from £60 to £100 but it has turned out that is not enough. It has not proved a deterrent.”
Figures show that while just 736 drivers were prosecuted for using their phone in 2005, this jumped dramatically to 7,380 in 2011, reaching a high of 8,116 in 2009. Potentially explaining why so many drivers continue to use their phones, traffic police numbers have fallen by nearly 25 per cent since 2010 due to government funding cuts.
Backing up the move to tighten up on drivers using their phones, research has found that motorists distracted by their devices are around two to three times more likely to be involved in a crash.