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Criminal crackdown on reckless drivers

Dangerous drivers are being targeted, as the law gets tougher on motorists using mobiles behind the wheel.

In a bid to kerb drivers using hand-held mobile phones at the wheel, the points penalty and fines metered out are set to double this year.

The latest news headlines also recently revealed drivers, who cause death by dangerous or carless driving, could be sent to prison for life under new government proposals.

Ministers want to bring the offence, which currently has a maximum sentence of 14 years, in line with manslaughter.

Offenders convicted while under the influence of drink or drugs could also face life in prison under new proposals.

These developments follow recent revelations that police are cracking down on drivers who use a hand-held phone or similar device to make calls or send text messages while driving a car or motorcycle. The rules apply whether waiting in traffic or stationary at a set of traffic lights.

Almost 8,000 drivers were caught using a mobile behind the wheel during a recent week-long crackdown by police.

In the seven day campaign officers in England, Wales and Northern Ireland issued over 40 fines an hour during the campaign in November. As well as fines hundreds of verbal warnings were delivered along with 68 court summonses.

The crackdown proved so successful another week-long campaign was coordinated for the end of Janaury.

Under UK law if you’re currently caught using a hand-held phone while driving or riding you will automatically be handed three penalty points on your licence and a fine of £100.

From 2017 drivers caught using hand-held mobile phones in Britain face forthcoming tougher penalties and under new rules, expected to be introduced in the first part of this year, offending motorists will get six points on their licence and face a £200 fine.

Newly qualified drivers may be made to retake their test the first time they are caught.

A high-profile government Think! campaign will accompany the new rules.

News of the changes, which will apply to England, Scotland and Wales, was announced as a recent RAC survey revealed nearly a third of UK motorists text, make calls and use apps while at the wheel, reflecting a rise in numbers since 2014.

Although using a hand-held mobile at the wheel has been illegal for years it is still all too common to see drivers foolishly flouting the law.

The government’s crackdown is aimed at trying to make illegal phone use as socially unacceptable as not wearing a seat belt or drink-driving.

How much of an impact this latest move will have and whether it’s enough of a deterrent to drivers remains to be seen.

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