New clampdown on drivers who insist on phoning without a hands-free kit whilst driving
From the 01 March 2017, the Department for Transport will introduce stiffer penalties for anyone caught phoning whilst driving, without a hands-free kit. Before then, the penalty for using a mobile phone without a hands-free kit was three penalty points and a £100 fine. From the 01 March, that will be doubled to six penalty points and a £200 fine.
Repeated offences will attract a £1,000 fine and a six month driving ban. Drivers who have recently passed their driving test will have their licence revoked. In spite of the DfT’s hardline approach, attitudes to phoning and driving have cooled. This, according to analysis from the RAC’s 2016 Report on Motoring. In the survey:
- A third of drivers have admitted to phoning and driving without a hands-free kit;
- 20% of drivers have posted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram whilst behind the wheel;
- 20% of drivers are comfortable with checking their device on the road – up from 14% in 2014;
- 14% think mobile phone use behind the wheel is acceptable – double that of the 7% who thought driving and phoning was acceptable in 2014.
It is also worth noting that five million drivers have taken photographs or filmed their journey en route. In the same survey, 11 million motorists owned up to phoning and driving without a hands-free kit. Whether the government’s more stringent will change attitudes is another story.
We at Drive 4 Life Academy strongly recommend buying a hands-free kit. It costs a lot less than a fine and the loss of your driving licence. Here’s what the Department for Transport has to say on mobile phones and driving.
Drive 4 Life Academy, 28 February 2017.