Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has said that the high death toll directly caused by motorists using the phone whilst driving. This has influenced his decision to change the rules which would see the penalty for using your mobile at the wheel increase to six points on your licence.
This would have a dramatic effect on newly-qualified drivers in particular who could be banned after only one offence because their threshold for a ban is six points. The increased penalty would also affect a driver’s insurance premiums. In addition, the Department For Transport is looking at raising fines from £100 to £150.
This follows research showing texting at the wheel can be more distracting than the effects of drink or drugs.
Motoring groups and MP watchdogs have welcomed this move, however, some have highlighted that harsher penalties are only part of the solution. This change would be more effective if enforcement of the law was improved.