The Penalties for Using a Mobile Phone on the Road
You no doubt will have been guilty of talking on the phone while driving at some point, but do you know the consequences? Well, apart from causing an accident, it’s against the law. Here you can find out the penalties for using your phone whilst driving.
Penalty Points and Fines
Even when you’re stationary at traffic lights or at a standstill in traffic, it is still illegal for you to use a hand-held phone when driving. If you are caught using a phone while driving then you’ll get 3 penalty points on your licence, as well as a £100 fine.
Ministers are actually considering increasing penalty points and fines for offenders in order to help prevent the number of deaths and injuries on the roads. Penalty points could rise from 3 to 4 and the fine could increase by £50, making the fine £150 in total.
It’s also important to know that your case could go to court and you could be disqualified from driving, in addition to a hefty fine of £1,000 maximum. Unless you’re a bus driver or a driver of a goods vehicle, in which case you could get a maximum fine of £2,500.
If you get 6 or more penalty points within 2 years of passing your test, you could lose your licence.
What Can You Use Your Phone For?
Believe it or not, it’s even illegal to use your phone to follow a map or look for directions. Therefore it is definitely against the law to text or check social media when driving, even while stopped. According to Telegraph Motoring 2011, a fifth of motorists in the UK admit accessing social networking sites on their mobile phones while driving.
The only time you should ever use your phone in a vehicle is if you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency, or if you are safely parked.
If you have a hands-free phone or sat nav then you can use these when driving, providing they don’t distract you from the road. You could get stopped by the police and be prosecuted if you’re not in full control of your vehicle. The penalties you’ll face will be the same for being caught using a handheld phone when driving.
The Number of Road Deaths Linked to Mobile Phone Use
Over a three year period, more than 60 people were killed in accidents on British roads due to the driver using a mobile phone. South East England was the region with the highest number of fatal accidents involving mobile phones, with a total of 14 deaths. The lowest region was London with 2 deaths, perhaps because car levels in the city centre have plummeted, according to a report by Transport for London.
However, all over the UK there are deaths occurring as a result of drivers using their mobile phones at the wheel.
Talking on the phone while driving is extremely dangerous; you run the risk of seriously injuring or killing someone, as well as facing penalty points and fines.