Penalty for mobile phone use while driving should be six points, not three
The transport secretary and Met Police commissioner both favour a six-point penalty for mobile phone offences while driving, according to two separate news reports.
The change from a three to six point penalty would mean a driver could be banned after two mobile offences, and a newly-qualified driver could be banned after one offence.
According to the Telegraph, the Met Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe believes the current punishment of three penalty points and a £60 fine is not a strong enough deterrent for drivers.
Writing on the Met Police website, the commissioner said that a six-point penalty would make drivers take the law on driving while on the phone more seriously.
The Telegraph says that when asked during a live webchat by a cycling enthusiast why so many people still seemed to be getting away with using mobile phones behind the wheel, Mr Hogan-Howe replied: “I would like to see them receive six points in the future.
"That would mean a second offence would lead to them being banned and I believe this would change driving behaviour and improve safety.”
An article in the Daily Mail suggests that Patrick McLoughlin, the transport secretary, also favours this change.
The Daily Mail article says the latest figures show that “mobile phones contribute to one road death every fortnight”, and quotes Patrick McLoughlin as saying that “foolish use of mobiles destroys lives”.
Mr McLoughlin added: “The amount of casualties has been absolutely appalling. We’ve got to change this. We’ve got to get that message across.”
Thanks to Peter (Westminster) and Simon (Norwich) who brought this to our attention from the BBC News Magazine Monitor - five radical ways to keep drivers off mobiles - which includes contributions from Alan Kennedy, Road Safety GB business and operations manager.