The money raised from penalising motorists who are caught using their mobile phones while driving should be used to fund road safety projects, a West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner has said. (Express and Star)
Former road safety minister David Jamieson PCC made the call in a letter to the new transport secretary, Chris Grayling. He has also warned that the force’s attempts to enforce the law will be hindered by lack of funds and resources.
Penalties for using a mobile phone when behind the wheel were first introduced a decade ago by Mr Jamieson when he was road safety minister.
Last week, it was widely reported that the penalty for the offence is to double from three points and a £100 fine to six points and a £200 fine.
Although there has been no official government announcement, the new penalties are expected to come into force in the first half of 2017.
The increase in penalty points would mean an immediate ban for newly-qualified drivers who have a ceiling of six points for the first two years after passing the test.
In his letter, Mr Jamieson wrote: "I would ask that you work with your colleagues at the Home Office and Treasury to recognise that further cuts to our police force will cripple its capacity to enforce the Department for Transport’s commendable new measures.
“Furthermore, enforcement would be aided by the redirection of penalty fine proceeds to local police forces for the purpose of enforcement of road safety measures, in the same way that fines yielded from speed camera detections were between 2001 and 2010.
"These funds could be ring-fenced for road safety, so that offenders pay for enforcement instead of tax payers."