Article By RMB Autoparc

Penalty points and fines to double for texting drivers ​

As all motorists should know, using a mobile phone when driving is extremely dangerous and ILLEGAL. Studies have shown that drivers using a phone whilst driving are slower to recognise and react to hazards, which in a split-second could lead to a serious accident.

Currently if caught using a mobile phone whilst driving the driver will receive a fine of £100 and 3 penalty points on their driving licence. However, from March 2017 new rules will come into effect which will see any motorists caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel subject to stricter punishments.

As of March, anyone who is caught using their phone whilst driving will receive a £200 fixed penalty fine and 6 penalty points on the licence. This isn’t good news for new drivers still within their probationary period as their licence will be revoked. They will then need to regain their licence by reapplying for a provisional licence, driving as a learner once again until they pass theory and practical tests.

For any motorists caught twice and who accrue 12 points they will automatically appear in court, facing a driving ban of up to six months and a fine of up to £1,000.

Although you may currently use a hands-free kit whilst driving it is still actively discouraged by the Highway Code as it can cause the same levels of mental distractions as a hand-held mobile phone. It is also important to remember you can still be prosecuted if you’re not in control of your vehicle whilst using a hands-free device and the same penalties apply.

RMB Autoparc’s Mobile Advice:

  • Switch your mobile off or place it out of reach. For example in the boot so you’re not tempted to check it whilst in slow moving or stationary traffic.
  • Avoid using your mobile through hands-free devices as this can still lead to distractions.
  • In the case of an emergency make sure you are safely parked before using your mobile.
  • If you know someone is driving don’t call them or if they answer and tell you they’re driving get them to call you back when it’s safe to do so.