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Penalty increase for mobile phone use

28 February 2017

In UK it’s been illegal to use a hand held mobile phone while driving, or while stopped with the engine on, since December 2003.

Now penalties are set to increase. As from the 1st March the penalty for using a hands held mobile device to make a call or send a text message increases for three to six penalty points and a fine from £100 to £200.

There's worldwide evidence that using any sort of phone has a considerable effect on accident risk, and while it's not a specific offence, using a hands-free phone can have a major bearing on whether or not you could be found guilty of careless or dangerous driving.

The AA Charitable Trust which highlights that casualties caused by drivers distracted by mobile phones have gone up by a quarter since 2011,is among the many organisations publicising this change by highlighting the dangers. It is launching a new 60 second advertisement looking at the dangers of text driving available in cinemas and video-on-demand between the 3rd and the 30th March.

The THINK! campaign has also produced a variety of downloads to help disseminate the message of the dangers of using mobile phones whilst driving. These resources also aim to inform all drivers about the tougher handheld mobile phone legislation that is now in effect.

More information is also available on The Road Safety Observatory.

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