posted 4 years ago

New £90 Fine For Using Hand-Held Mobile

Fixed Penalty Notice Increase From £60 To £90

The Fixed Penalty Notice for using a hand-held mobile phone behind the wheel could increase from £60 to £90, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has suggested. This would represent a fifty percent rise – although there is no plan to simultaneously increase the three point licence endorsement. The hand-held mobile offence relates to making/receiving calls, sending/reading texts and surfing the internet, etc. Furthermore – despite what some people think – it is enforced while cars are stationary (say) at red lights or in traffic jams. The only exception is that motorists can legally use hand-held phones to contact the emergency services if it is impractical to stop. Since the mobile ban was introduced in 2003, more than one-million people have been convicted so it is a very common offence. As such, forty-two percent of drivers admitted to “using hand-held mobiles illegally” in a recent AA/Populus poll. In fact – over only a few days in a small geographical area – Police in East Riding caught thirty-four people using hand-held phones. Presumably, these had failed to note that a local pensioner had been killed recently by someone distracted by a phone. Research carried out for Which?, in fact, found that writing a text causes the driver's attention to drop seventy-nine percent.

Transport Secretary Discusses Dangerous Drivers

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We want to send a clear message to dangerous drivers: if you continue to show complete disregard for the safety of other road users, we will catch you – and we will punish you.”

Fixed Penalty Notice For Wider Range Of Offences

The Fixed Penalty Notice scheme is likely to expand to cover a wider range of bad behaviour. This could include chopping-up fellow motorists, which can be seen frequently on the motorways when people charge across multiple lanes of traffic to catch their favoured exits. These offenders could therefore soon be fined £90 and receive three penalty points for their trouble. The same could apply to tailgating which is following the car ahead to closely. This, of course, is dangerous as in extreme cases the following vehicle cannot stop if necessary. Furthermore, those who hog the middle lanes of motorways, light cigarettes behind the wheel, eat, or progress at inappropriate speeds could also be fined £90 (and receive three points). Today's £60 Fixed Penalty Notices for minor speeding offences and running traffic lights could also increase in-line.
 

I am wholly in favour of any measures intended to make people safer and more courteous drivers but fixed penalty fines are against all the principles of justice and fair play and faultless civil liberties the British are supposed to be famous for. It is surely wrong to punish poor people more for an offence than those with a greater ability to pay? A fine for an offence is supposed to contain elements of administration costs, a financial punishment for committing the offence and a financial discouragement against further offences. I am a low earner and if £90 is the right amount to fulfil the requirements of a fine for me then the amount to provide a proportionate punishment and discouragement for a Chief Constable, for instance, would be several thousand pounds. The current system is grossly unfair, is highly prejudicial against huge numbers of people in this country while letting greater numbers off lightly, fails to fulfil it's function and potentially misses out on millions more in revenue from fines. It would be easily solved by allowing one official body, the police, to access information held by the revenue service in order to use income as a basis for setting the amount of the fine based on a fixed percentage therefore fulfilling all the requirements a fine should provide.

Only today I saw a woman with 2 children in the back of her car negotiating a busy roundabout with a mobile phone in her right hand , steering wheel in her left. I guarantee you she would be the first to complain if one of her kids were injured by a mobile phone user. Mobile phones are a menace in the car and should only ever be used as an emergency. Full stop.

It amazes me that people that clearly drive for a living are not unduly concerned. This also includes parents with any number of children on board. Regarding the increase in the fine, this is just another revenue raising exercise as some drivers will continue to take the risk. If the authorities are serious they should consider doubling the points!

I think that un-marked video cars should patrol the roads filming mobile phone users. I use the roads a lot. Why do drivers in high end motors not have or use built in hands free, Like Range Rovers and BMW's. Van and lorry drivers are frequently also high users. A instant 4 week ban might deter drivers only from using their phones. Will the battle ever be won !!!

I wish the police would do something about it up in the North of Scotland then, it seems that most drivers up here including tractor drivers and those driving 20/30 ton lorries do it as part of their driving test.

smoking behind the wheel should be banned altogether its just as bad as having a drink

Surely we are ALL agreed that safety is the prime objective on the road? Hand-held texting is probably the most destructive distraction we have yet devised. It's not so much the penalty that matters, we need personal responsibility because we KNOW it is dangerous to text on the move.

Eating an sweet, that has been placed in an easily, and accessible position,to enable the driver to munch something whilst driving safely, should be allowed,not frowned upon, after all, if the police can do it,don't we lead by example these days?

I agree with Julie Scales comments above

If additional offences are to be created I hope these include failing to indicate at roundabouts. It's about time lazy and inconsiderate drivers were targeted.

A massive fine and a 3 month ban is what is needed. These people are a menace on the road.I see them all the time.The problem is there are no traffic police to monitor!

Trouble is people get done with hands free devices on a pretext. Police only have to believe you are distracted to give you a penalty. Think the police would be better looking out for the really unsafe driving on the roads and I see plenty and no policemen in sight.

Saw a Peugeot 207 swerving in front of me today and when I eventually felt safe enough to pass the young female driver was texting. I gave her a blast and I think she wanted another as she showed me two fingers. I reported her to the Police with full details - I wonder if they will prosecute? £90 is nowhere near enough. The same goes for tailgating and carving across lanes to exit motorways. £500 and a 3 month ban for bad driving but £60 or a caution does nothing as we see on Road Wars TV frequently.

I think that the rules need to be set out properly none of this can be done here and there really confuses people,agree that smoking should be banned whist you are driving as what would happen if you dropped said cigarette into your lap whilst on a busy rd or m'way? As I said think there should be more info on what can and can't be done! What if my kids had an emergency at school and I pulled over in a safe place? Would I be done if I took the call?? You see my point

I agree with IVOR HADYOU, £500 is more like it. £90 is still just not enough of a deterrent. I also agree with MICHAL SMITH, a 4 week ban would inconvenience people which would make them much more like not to use their mobile 'phone whilst driving in the future. Most people could easily afford a £90 fine, even if they put it on their credit card. Points don't make any difference because there are people driving round with 20 or 30 points on their licenses, simply using the old 'hardship' story to keep their licenses and stay on the road... Inconvenience is by far the best deterrent.

A stiffer penalty is needed for using mobile phones, there is no excuse for this, hands free kits are easily available. I see 5 or 6 people doing this everyday. But a £500 fine sounds a good place to start for me, soon put a dent in your pocket. But then again a 2 part driving test for new drivers would be good, as a motorcyclist has to do.

Does this include police officers using there radios while driving at high speeds

I think a good punishment would be to give offenders a driving ban for say 4 weeks points and small fines do nothing as we can see by the amount of offenders.

A stiffer penalty is needed for using mobile phones, there is no excuse for this, hands free kits are easily available As for smoking, this is complete nonsense, having driven for over 50 years whilst smoking I can honestly state I have never caused an accident, smoking helps concentration, talking to someone else while driving causes loss of concentration especially those that turn to the passenger to speak.

Fixed penalty fines are fundamentally wrong in that it has a different penalty depending on how rich you are. It should either be a fixed period of community service or limited to penalty points (probably the fairest).

A lot more I been caught once in an ASDA carpark !! The police driver who was texting while at a roundabout in Fareham got nothing

£60-£90? why pussy-foot around this offence, it is very dangerous and at least equal to drink-driving, make it a proper offence with a fixed fine of at least £500 plus 6 points on the licence, at least it would be a genuine deterrent.

About time to, there are to many totally irresponsible drivers out there who give no thought to other drivers, it should have been greater to nmaybe act as a deterrent??

Still not enough .... should add an immediate ban ... lets say 28days for first offence (Not sure what planet that idiot james harbart comes from)

Excellent news it should have been a lot more with a possible jail term too.People who use mobile phones whilst driving care little about road safety.