Penalty points and fines to double for drivers who use phones warn Ipswich solicitors

17th November 2016

Penalty points and fines to double for drivers who use phones warn Ipswich solicitors

Tougher punishments will be handed to drivers who flout the law by using their mobile phones while behind the wheel.

Currently, drivers face a £100 fine and three points. But the Driver Awareness courses which might have prevented the points being added have been withdrawn. There is now no alternative to points.

The further crackdown, which is expected to come in to force next year, will see motorists facing a £200 fine and six points on their licence.

Newly qualified drivers could be made to retake their test the first time they are caught, while more experienced motorists going to court if they offend twice face possible fines of up to £1,000 and at least a six-month driving ban.

The Department for Transport said it expected the changes to take effect in the first half of 2017.

The tougher penalties follow research by the RAC, which found illegal use of phones by drivers is on the increase, with almost a third admitting to using a hand-held device compared to 8 per cent in 2014.

The study also revealed that the proportion of drivers who confessed to sending a message or posting on social media rose from 7 per cent to 19 per cent, while 14 per cent owned up to taking photographs or videos.

Department for Transport figures show that a driver impaired or distracted by their phone was a contributory factor in 492 accidents in Britain in 2014, including 21 that were fatal and 84 classed as serious.

The advice from police and motoring organisations is simple: never take the risk of using your mobile while driving.

And while the use of hands-free devices is not in itself illegal, new research has found that they can be just as distracting, leading to calls for a blanket ban.

How can our Driving Offence Solicitors help?

If you face an investigation or prosecution for any offence, contact Suffolk law firm, Gotelee Solicitors. Our experience has shown that the sooner our solicitors are involved, the better the outcome.

To find out how we can help you, call us on 01473 298140. We also have offices in Ipswich, Melton, Felixstowe, Hadleigh and Woodbridge where you can arrange to see our expert lawyers.

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