by Claire Quinlan
Figures have recently been released showing that the number of people caught using a mobile phone whilst driving has dropped by 1/3 since the new tougher penalties came into force.
In March 2017, the penalty rose from £100 and 3 points to £200 and 6 points. If the case proceeds to Court, a fine up to £1000 can be given. The driver awareness course was removed as an option meaning the majority of drivers stopped will end up with these tough penalties.
This is obviously worrying for new drivers whose licence would be revoked if 6 points are accumulated within the first 2 years of passing the test. For other drivers, they risk a totting up disqualification when 12 or more points are reached.
In 2017, there were 1/3 fewer cases than in 2016. The figures dropped from around 12,000 in 2016 to 8330. A staggering 90% of those prosecuted were male.
The tougher penalties, alongside high profile campaigns are being credited with this drop. Some, however, believe that the offence is still as prevalent and the drop is due to a reduction in frontline officers being available to detect the crimes.
Drivers should be aware that it is not only phone calls which are prohibited. Texting, scrolling and checking your phone can also fall foul of the law. Research by the AA showed that texting doubles the risk of a crash occurring.
Figures show that 92% of those stopped result in fixed penalty or Court conviction which is a high success rate for the police.
If you have been charged with a mobile phone offence contact our motoring offence team on 0800 046 3066