2 March 2017

Government increases penalties for using a mobile phone behind the wheel

Tougher penalties for using your hand-held mobile phone while driving are now in force as of 1st March 2017.

Drivers caught using their phone behind the wheel will receive six penalty points and a £200 fine.

The penalty for new drivers is even more severe with a risk of being stripped of their licence if they passed their test within two years of the offence.

How and why has the change come about?

The November 2016 consultation on the proposed tougher penalties last year received unanimous support. Research shows that reaction times amongst drivers using their mobile phones are twice as long as drivers who have been drinking.

So how is it measured and enforced?

The simple fact is, you only need to be seen.

According to the AA, the police have been using unmarked lorries to observe drivers who text or phone, as the higher seating position means they can see and record offences not normally visible from a car.

What does this mean for fleet?

For businesses, there is now an even greater need to impress upon drivers that they should either wait to take their business calls or emails when they’re stationary, or use the correct in-car connectivity.

Even then, any kind of mobile use is discouraged, as even hands-free calls can divide attention and cause accidents.

Although this might cause delays, and compromise an employee’s ability to work on the road, the implications of breaking this new rule are far too serious to ignore.

For full advice and details on the new fines and legislation visit our partner website – TheAA.com.