posted 6 years ago

Road Safety Charity Demands Stronger Penalties For Phone Users

Institute of Advanced Motorists Calls For Tougher Penalties For Phone Users

Motorists that cause death by dangerous driving while using a mobile should receive stronger and more consistent penalties, the Institute of Advanced Motorists has claimed. Why? Because the road safety charity has analysed eleven recent prosecutions and found that the average sentence - for those convicted between 2006 and 2011 – was four-and-a-half years imprisonment and a seven year driving ban. Of these fatalities, six were caused when distracted offenders struck stationary or slow moving traffic, or broken-down vehicles. A further three tragedies were caused by vehicles drifting into the path of oncoming traffic, and two pedestrians were killed by mobile phones users. Interestingly, the Institute of Advanced Motorists has revealed that the vast majority of people believe that using a mobile phone while driving is unsafe. This is based on the Public Attitudes Towards Transport Survey of 2011. Yet, since 2006, seven-hundred and fifty thousand fixed penalty notices have been issued for this dangerous driving offence. 

Simon Best Discusses Penalties For Mobile Phone Users

The Institute of Advanced Motorist's Chief Executive, Simon Best, said: “The maximum sentence available to the courts is fourteen years, so there is still scope for an even stronger road safety message that drivers who kill whilst distracted on their phones will be caught and jailed for a long time. The lesson here is obvious: never use your phone while driving. Whether you have a hands free kit or use loudspeaker, it doesn't matter. Using your phone in any capacity reduces your attention from the task at hand – driving.”

About The Institute of Advanced Motorists

The Institute of Advanced Motorists is one of the country's leading safety charities. Its purpose is to improve the standard of driving/riding on the road so as to reduce casualties. Within this remit it administers the advanced driving and riding tests. Objectives are met via one-to-one tuition, research, and lobbying, etc. The Institute has also published - through press releases - a wide variety of material to help motorists cope with hazards such as snow, ice, darkness, heavy rain, country roads, roundabouts, managed motorways, breakdowns, etc. The Institute is funded by its one-hundred thousand members that have passed one of the practical tests and pay an annual membership fee. It is not, therefore, owned by or financially dependent on any commercial enterprise which could have a vested interest in a narrow part of road safety.


I passed a clown yesterday driving a massive tipper lorry in a built area, on his mobile and some paperwork across his steering wheel. Look what damage that idiot could have cause.

Anyone caught using a mobile phone wile driving should be hit with stronger penalties whether it be a massive fine or inprisonment. Police should be more vigilant and catch more people that use their phones while driving. If they cause a crash then the penalties should be higher, causing a death should be life in prison !

just like most new rules etc, they want to find a foolproof way of enforcing them. A ban is of little use when someone is going to ignore it and drive anyway and probably use their mobiles at the same time.

When I notice a phone user behind me while driving, I put my hazards on and slow to 15mph. That works most of the time.

current fines don,t deter the idiots, so it should be a mandatory 12month ban. get more idiots off the road. that should include the police, who are hypocrites

I have said many times that fining people is pointless for a start £90 is nothing to worry about just stick it on a credit card The only way is to instant driving ban for say a month and if they then have to use public transport that is a punishment.

Iam all for stronger penalties for the usemobile phones i often see all ages using and texing more so at traffic lights even with young children in the car as a member of ROsPA i think there should no hands held device in use in the car truck or bus and that includes the police fire ect

John Potter, if that's the case you should really report that. They will know which officer was there in the van and would be able to check the phone for messages being sent. That is totally unbelievable that a Police office should do that and I would guess that would be P45 time

Does this include Police Officers as well. While on my way home from work in Bradford I was passed by a Police Van and the Driver was busy texting while approaching a pelican crossing.

Must agree that using any handheld device is very dangerous however Steve's comment that hands free is no more dangerous than having a conversation with a passenger is not true. If you do use hands free stop talking in mid sentence and notice what happens. "Hello, are you still there" type of response. This is not the case with a passenger for the simple fact that they can see what's going on....not true for a person on the end of a phone.

As always , bolt the door when the horse has gone!! Experts tell us using a phone whilst driving is as bad as drink driving!! Make the penalty reflect the crime!!! Make it so there is a stigma about it!

As a member of IAM since 1980 I agree that hand held phones are dangerous!! Here in Florida I have a Honda Pilot SUV with hands free & also the same set up in my Honda CRV in the UK--You will not iradicate the facility as life speeds up & business is conducted through this avenue. Here in the USA the death toll is more like hundreds every year through stupid drivers texting & phoning at high speeds & road sense. Its a shame there is no IAM here (I am classed as a SAFE Driver here in Florida)

People who kill someone whilst using a mobile phone should be banned from driving for life.

Surely its not rocket science if they made the penalties tougher people would not use them

There should be severe penalties for people who use hand held mobile phones whilst driving. especially texting. You can buy a blue tooth device very cheaply if your car does not already have it inbuilt. Using blue tooth is then no more dangerous that having a conversation with a passenger. Unfortunately some drivers think that they have to look at their passenger to speak to them.

When people are killed by idiots behind the wheel using phones then it's all too late at that time. Tougher action is required before accidents occur. I am sure that if anyone caught by the Police using their phone in the car while driving had their smart phone smashed in front of them using a 1 pound lump hammer and then forced to take their test again, the problem would probably stop overnight. The problem with this pussy country is that we are not severe enough on the culprits and there is no deterrent, the consequence of which is, and will be, death of innocent people.

A very serious concern for sure. What is the IAM position on the now 4 million plus licence holders who self certify themselves every 3 years as remaining capable? None of us recognise inevitable deterioration, and none would rush to giving up our independence. One day, we are going to have to be brave enough to face this issue and take appropriate action

Tougher penalties,but who will enforce them with police numbers being reduced.