A new public consultation has been launched by the Department for Transport with support from the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) into tougher penalties for people that use a hand-held mobile phone while driving.
The consultation will ask members of the public to offer their views on a potential increase in fixed-penalty fines from £100 to £150 for all those that are found guilty of driving and using a hand-held device at the same time, while also increasing the number of penalty points for offenders from three to four.
It forms part of government plans to clamp down on this serious hazard for all road users.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: "Forcing all drivers caught using a hand-held mobile for the first time to attend a re-education course would be a really positive step. For many, smartphone use has become an addiction that we can only start to cure through some form of therapy.
"The IAM does not object to tougher penalties but we do believe that the real deterrent is fear of being caught. That fear can only be increased by increasing the numbers of traffic police on our roads."
Mr Greig concluded that reducing the distraction effect of mobile phones will ultimately prove a more effective means of saving lives than simply ramping up costs for offenders in the years ahead.
Posted on 27th January 2016
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