Law Change on Mobiles and Driving
The laws relating to mobile phones being used whilst driving, have been seen as a bit of a nuisance, a slap on the wrist, or a risk, in percentage terms, perhaps worth taking.
The percentage being the perceived likely hood of being caught, against the obviously high numbers of drivers that do it.
The current laws can penalise drivers for the use of hand-held phones in situations which may seem surprising, such as texting whilst in a traffic jam, or stopped at traffic lights, or even stopped by the side of the road.
These can all be described as undue care and attention, because the engine is switched on, and therefore you are not in total charge of the vehicle.
Harsh, but true. Being penalised for taking a sip of water from a bottle while waiting at red traffic lights may seem grossly heavy-handed, but the letter of the law is there to be read, and is same as that of using a hand-held mobile phone. Once spelt out, it is undeniable.
The penalties that are currently applied for being caught using a hand-held device are a fine of £100 and three penalty points on the license, however, almost a third of UK motorists, in a recent research, admitted using a phone whilst behind the wheel, and a proportion of those saying that they did, because they knew they could get away with it.
In the wake of a number of high profile and fatal accidents, the Government Transport Secretary has proposed a new approach to this, by trying to change public outlook and attitude towards the offence of using a hand-held phone while driving, and making it a social pariah in the same vein as drinking and driving.
There is indeed a link between the reaction times of drivers who are at the drink drive limit and those who use mobiles and drive….. interesting comparison and yet the offences are dealt very differently in law. If you have been caught or accused of either of these offences, or any other motoring offences, ask a free advice question at Patterson Law and find out how you cand defend the allegations against you.
The proposal is to double the penalties now levied. This would mean a two hundred pound fine, but possibly more of a deterrent, doubling the amount of penalty points on the license to six. This would mean that two such offences within three years of each other would result in a court summons, and face fines of up to £1000, and a driving ban for a minimum six months.
For those who have recently passed their tests, which is as often or not, young drivers, the six point penalty will mean the loss of license completely, and after a driving ban period, having to re-take both the theory and practical tests again, to qualify for a new license.
This could make an unlikely comparison of a Tweet or a Like being as potent as a shot of whiskey!