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.