New drivers risk losing their licence every time they touch their phone while behind the wheel.
From March 1st, 2017, the government will be enforcing their policy to double punishments for drivers caught using their mobile phone while behind the wheel.
This will see the financial penalty increasing from £100 to £200, as well as the licence endorsements increasing from 3 points to 6 points.
Naturally, this punishment will seem stricter on new drivers, for whom 6 points in the first 2 years of driving will cost them their licence, but you could also argue that new drivers are the demographic most susceptible to driving on their phones.
For the rest of us, 12 points will mean a ban - so even if you have a squeaky clean licence, you’re still only 2 mistakes away from a court date, which is something we all need to be wary of.
Motorists aren’t going to be offered the opportunity to attend a driver awareness course for illegal mobile phone usage.
Pete Williams, road safety spokesman for the RAC, said: “The Government’s swift action to the findings in the RAC Report on Motoring shows they understand just how dangerous it can be to use a handheld mobile phone at the wheel. Increasing the fine from £100 to £200 and doubling the penalty points from three to six will help to deter people from doing it in the first place.
“However, it is just as important that laws are seen to be enforced, and the decline in the numbers of dedicated road traffic police has only heightened the feeling that those who use a handheld phone while driving simply get away with it.”
If you were to refuse the fixed Penalty Notice and decide to take the matter to court, the maximum fine is £1,000, or £2,500 if you were driving a bus or a goods vehicle.
Don’t panic, it’s not the end of the world. We understand that some of us like to listen to music while driving, some of us need to make calls on the go and some of us use our phones for SatNav.
So, as a solution, here are our 5 safe and legal ways to use your phone while driving...