Tough new laws now in force for mobile use behind the wheel
As tempting as it may be to send that quick text or make that short call on your mobile – it is now worth remembering more than ever, that as well as being dangerous - using your phone whilst driving could cost you dearly.
Tough new laws brought in from 1st March by police forces around the country will see those caught using their phone at the wheel facing a £200 fine and six points on their licence. If they are caught a second time, they would face a minimum six-month driving ban and would also be summoned to appear in court where they could be fined up to £1,000.
We have all seen the disturbing news footage and images in the newspapers in recent weeks and months of what can happen when using a mobile phone whilst driving.
These new changes will have a significant impact on young drivers in particular as they risk having their driving licence revoked following a first offence, and will require them to retake their test.
Motorists will no longer be offered the opportunity to go on a driver awareness course.
It is illegal to use a mobile phone, held in the hand, whilst driving or while stopped with the engine on.
But while it has been illegal since December 2003, research shows there has been a worrying shift in attitudes to mobile phone use behind the wheel.
The RAC recently surveyed 1,714 motorists and 31% said they used a handheld phone behind the wheel compared with just 8% in 2014.
The number of drivers who said they sent a message or posted on social media rose from 7% to 19%, while 14% said they had taken a photograph or video while driving.
While to some it may seem acceptable to punch in those digits whilst driving, however, it has been proven that just for a couple of seconds of distraction, the consequences can be devastating.
Safe Local Trades is among the many organisations supporting this new law and the nationwide awareness campaign with the messages #itcanwait #dontriskit