New rule not tough enough on drivers who use mobiles at wheel

Harsher action has been demanded after it was announced first time offenders found to be using their phone behind the wheel will not be able to avoid getting points.

Thursday, 10th November 2016, 3:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th November 2016, 2:55 pm
Calls have been made to take more action against drivers who use their phone while behind the wheel.
Calls have been made to take more action against drivers who use their phone while behind the wheel.

Drivers caught using their mobile will no longer be able to take a remedial course in return for not having their licence endorsed with points under the plans announced by the Department of Transport (DfT).

A number of police forces currently offer workshops to educate motorists about the dangers of making a call while they are behind the wheel.

But the DfT believes this is not a tough enough measure to deter people from answering while they are driving or to change their future behaviour.

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Prime Minister Theresa May said she wants to make the offence as socially unacceptable as drink-driving.

The plan was announced in the DfT’s response to a consultation on the punishments handed out to motorists caught using a hand-held phone.

The document confirmed the Government’s intention to double the fine from £100 to £200 and increase the penalty points from three to six, which first emerged in September.

It comes after the jailing of trucker Tomasz Kroker, who was scrolling through music on his phone just before he ploughed into stationary traffic on the A34 in Berkshire, killing Tracy Houghton, 45, her sons Ethan, 13, and 11-year-old Josh, and step-daughter Aimee Goldsmith, 11.

However, some say the move is not enough and have called for tougher measures.

Terence Hunton-Young, responding to the story on the Mail’s Facebook page, said: “Take the car and phone from them, then make them watch while they are crushed.”

Maz Brown wrote: “Trouble is the laws already there, but not enforced so they can make it as high as they like.

Willa Laidler posted: “Those who do it think they are above the law, so it would not make much difference. Have seen loads of the dangerous critters.”

Hannah Stuart added: “Good, so they should.

“And if it happens again take away the licence, and that should go for everyone.”

Bradley Sharp suggested: “It should be instant 24 month ban and £1,000 fine.
“Nothing I hate more than people on the phone whilst driving.”

Jenny Thornton said: “It makes my blood boil.

“There’s no excuse, it’s reckless, the same as speeding and drink driving, ban the lot.”

Ian Hardy posted: “Jail time may sort them out this fine and points is not harsh enough.”