Thousands of drivers caught despite crackdown on mobile use 0

Thousands-of-drivers-caught-despite-crackdown-on-mobile-useFigures have revealed that despite the tougher penalties coming into force for mobile phone use behind the wheel, thousands of motorists were still apprehended by police in the days and weeks following the rule change.

Numbers obtained by the Press Association show that the UK police force caught almost 6,000 motorists using some form of illegal device – 200 a day – immediately after the legislation was changed on the 1st March, 2017.

The change saw the penalty for using a phone doubled to £200 plus six penalty points.

Drivers who have only recently passed their driving tests risk losing their license altogether.

Director of motoring research charity, The RAC Foundation, Steve Gooding believe the key message meant to be conveyed by the changes “still isn’t sinking in”.

“Driving is a safety-critical activity that requires our full attention. Hands need to be on the wheel and eyes looking out of the windscreen, not down at the phone screen,” he added.

Road safety charity Brake called for the £200 fine to be “significantly increased” to deter offenders.

“Driver distraction is a growing menace and it’s worrying that drivers don’t seem to be getting the message,” said Brake spokesman Jack Kushner.

AA president Edmund King said changing drivers’ attitudes would take a while:

“We know we can’t change the attitudes and actions of all drivers overnight.

“We now have stricter penalties so need to continue with education campaigns (including driving schools) plus more police enforcement.”

Examples of incidents reported by police:

  • A man doing his online banking while driving along the M5 motorway near Birmingham
  • Norfolk Police stopped a woman who was responding to a message about her lost puppy being found
  • A man using his phone while driving a 7.5-tonne lorry around a roundabout in Bournemouth
  • A school minibus driver with 10 children on board in Manchester using his phone while driving
  • More than a third of the 5,977 incidents reported occurred on London’s roads making it the place with the highest number of offences

Pressure to prevent drivers using phones intensified last year in the wake of several high-profile cases as well as research indicating it was widespread.

In 2016, Tomasz Kroker, a lorry driver, killed a mother and her three children while distracted by his phone. He was jailed for ten years.

In 2015 – the latest year for which figures are available – 22 people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents where a driver was using their phone.

For affordable, convenient and top quality car servicing from industry professionals choose Servicing Stop – All offers include FREE car collection and delivery plus a 12-month parts and labour guarantee!