A Manchester based cycling group called BikeRight! talks about their hope in safer roads with the new stricter penalty fines for using handsets whilst driving. Marketing and PR officer Andrew Tucker at BikeRight! talks to Quays News about the stricter penalties to be introduced 1st March for people using their handsets whilst driving.
Motorists caught whilst using their mobile phones will now instantly receive six points on their licence and a hefty £200 fine after concern about a lack of prosecutions and convictions to those who have taken offence.
Tucker said: “Cyclists and other vulnerable road users are especially in danger from drivers whose attention is elsewhere when it should be on the road ahead. Young drivers in particular need to be aware of implications of mobile phone use whilst driving as they are less experienced yet more likely to be distracted by these devices.”
New drivers will face even tougher situations as if they are caught in their first two years of driving, they will automatically lose their licence on top of their fine. Meaning having to go through a theory and practical test all over again to be able to renew their licence.
Tucker said: “Using a mobile phone whilst driving has been illegal for many years but some drivers choose to ignore the law. Hopefully the increased fine and penalty will help put a stop to this dangerous behaviour.”
With police handing out 7,966 fixed penalty notices in one week due to “distracted drivers”, a crackdown for offenders has been overdue. The campaign took place in November for a week of enforcement on “distraction driving” to highlight the significance of people still using their phones to this day.
The new laws will also clampdown on people using their phone at traffic lights and stationary traffic, touching buttons to answer/hang up on a call on hands-free, using loudspeaker even when the phone is not in your hand, and touching or re-programming a phone whilst in sat nav mode when the car is in motion.
The same rules apply for a normal sat nav as well, stating that the programme should be set up before you start the car and set off, and that it is placed into its holder out of the 45-degree angle of the drivers view.
The one exception to avoid an offence is when a driver is in emergency where they may call an emergency number if it is unsafe or impractical to stop.