Road Safety News
 

Penalty for mobile phone use while driving should be six points, not three

Wednesday 16th July 2014

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.”

FOOTNOTE
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.

 

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It's not often I find a video that makes the point as suscinctly as this one. It covers the three Es in my view - education, engagement and enforcement.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZPIJSb8U9g
Elaine, Northern Ireland

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)
0

How about confiscating the mobile for 24 hours for a first offence, 48 for a second and a week for third? I don't think it will happen in reality, as there won't be the resource to set up the system, but given the reliance on mobiles to run social as well as business lives, I think the threat of losing it, albeit temporarily, would be a far better deterrent than points or a fine.
Mandy Rigault. Oxfordshire.

Agree (6) | Disagree (3)
+3

That would mean an instant ban and retest for those drivers that have passed their driving test within the last two years. Odd that in the pre-mobile age, the police drove often with one hand while talking on their mobile radio, now it seems it is so dangerous!
Terry Hudson, Kent

Agree (5) | Disagree (2)
+3

An American study of 100 vehicles for a year, all equipped with CCTV monitoring inside and out, found that 75% or so of crashes (and presumably near-misses) were immediately pre-dated by momentary inattention. THAT is the major problem.

Of course mobile phones lead to that inattention, so I never use one when moving. But it is arguable that if the driver were not distracted by a phone he might well have been distracted by something else, including speaking to others in the vehicle.

So removing sign clutter is good, as is improving the ones that remain.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (8) | Disagree (2)
+6

How about switching the phone off, not the brain. People will still be tempted to use their phone while being in control of a vehicle.
David Cant Solihull

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

I guess 6 points would include using a mobile whilst stationary with the engine running? Maybe more police on the roads to enforce the existing law would make more sense than more points? I'm sure only a tiny minority of offenders are actually caught.
Paul Biggs

Agree (18) | Disagree (2)
+16

Thanks for that Simon, those are all great ideas! Some maybe a bit better than others, but how refreshing to see decent thinking being applied to a problem. My favourite has got to be the one from our friends in Belgium as that one addresses the problem right at its source.
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (8) | Disagree (1)
+7

Have you seen this Duncan on the BBC website now?
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-magazine-monitor-28325532
Simon, Norwich

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
+3

Punishment doesn't seem to have worked that well so far in preventing mobile phone use, so will even more punishment provide a long-term solution?
Duncan MacKillop, Stratford on Avon

Agree (15) | Disagree (5)
+10

It's how much? £100 last time I checked....
Peter, Suffolk

Agree (13) | Disagree (0)
+13