Enforcement campaign marks launch of new mobile penalties

12.00 | 1 March 2017 | | 3 comments

Police forces across England, Scotland and Wales are taking part in a week-long enforcement campaign, targeting motorists who use their mobile phone while driving.

Launched today (1 Mar) – as new increased penalties for the offence come into force – the campaign will see extra patrols deployed, and an increased focus on cracking down on illegal mobile phone use.

Chief constable Suzette Davenport, National Police Chiefs’ Council roads policing lead, says officers will use ‘innovative and intelligence-led tactics’.

The campaign will also see police forces and partners work to make using a mobile phone at the wheel perceived as ‘socially unacceptable’, as is the case with drink-driving.

About 3,600 drivers were handed penalties in the last co-ordinated enforcement week from 23- 29 January 2017.

The new penalties will see motorists caught using a phone while driving receive six points on their licence and a £200 fine – up from the previous three points and £100 penalty.

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New mobile phone penalties: updates and reaction
01 March 2017

Double penalties for mobile phone offences come into force today
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Chief constable Suzette Davenport said: “These new penalties reflect the seriousness of the offence and will strengthen the deterrent against using a mobile phone at the wheel.

“We need people to understand that this is not a minor offence that they can get away with.

“Across this week officers will continue to use innovative and intelligence-led tactics to catch and penalise people who are driving while distracted by a mobile phone. However, this is an attitudinal problem that we cannot simply enforce away by putting more officers on the roads.

“This issue has to begin with personal responsibility by drivers. We know that people are more likely to report other drivers using a phone than to view themselves as guilty of it. That has to change.

“Tougher penalties are a step in the right direction, but police forces and partners are working this week to make it socially unacceptable to use a mobile phone at the wheel. It’s about more than what you might have to pay as a penalty – you could hurt or kill an innocent person on the roads by checking a text or taking a call.

“Don’t do it – and don’t let others take the risk either.”

Want to know more about mobile phones and road safety? 
Online library of research and reports etc – visit the Road Safety Knowledge Centre
Key facts and summaries of research reports – visit the Road Safety Observatory


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    It has been shown there is little difference in the distraction caused by a hand held phone and a hands free phone when used in moving vehicle. So when will the Government introduce a law to prevent such dangerous distractions to be installed in vehicles?

    malcolm whitmore, Loughborough
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I agree fully with the new penalty system and it needs to go further. Destruction of the phone at the side of the road by the police may work. However, suggesting that responsible motorists are allowed to use mobile phone blockers. So how do you propose establishing who a responsible motorist is at the cash desk of shops or on Ebay. Any phone blocker as suggested (which are available to buy) would block all phones in a 20 yard radius as suggested. Great fun for the motorist to wind up passing pedestrians and passengers on coaches and other legitimate mobile phone users.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    I welcome your intervention / support for this measure but can I urge you to campaign for mobile phone used whilst driving be CONFISCATED (like un-insured cars are). The inconvenience this will cause phone users will also be a further disincentive. Also, campaign for someone to make a “signal blocking” device responsible motorists could install in their cars that would interrupt calls being made (it would only need to be effective 10-20 yards). It could be powered by the cigarette lighter socket.

    Robin French Brentwood Essex
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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