UK gets tough on phone toting drivers
Still got to arrest some people though
Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander has confirmed that from February 27 drivers caught using a mobile phone will get three points on their license and a £60 fine, double the current £30.
Mr Alexander also stated that it was "impossible to do two things at once". Those of us who can chew and walk at the same time might be tempted to disagree, but driving and holding a phone does seem a challenge too far: in 2005, 13 people were killed, and 400 seriously injured, in vehicle accidents related to mobile phone use.
Interestingly, while 92 per cent of people approve of the law banning drivers from holding a phone while driving, 21 per cent admit to breaking it – presumably feeling that their higher skill level makes it safe for them to drive and talk.
Increasing the penalty for being caught won't help unless they can catch some people: the Lib Dems worked out last year that only 1.1 per cent of people using a mobile whilst driving got caught. Given the dearth of traffic police these days that's unlikely to improve until they can train Gatso cameras to spot mobile phone users, as well as those exceeding the speed limit.®
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