Harsher Fines For Texting Motorists
MOTORISTS caught texting at the wheel face tougher penalties – with fines of £90 plus three penalty points being considered.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin pledged yesterday to get tough on drivers who put lives at risk.
Speaking at a road safety conference, he said he was also looking at making careless driving and not using a seat belt fixed penalty notice offences.
Mr McLoughlin said: “We want to send a clear message to dangerous drivers – if you show disregard for the safety of other road users, we will catch and punish you.”
Ministers are reviewing proposals to increase penalties from £60 to £90 for speeding, not wearing a seat belt and using a mobile phone whilst driving.
Increases to fixed penalties are also being considered for offences like vehicle defects and insurance offences.
But there are no plans to make any changes to penalties for parking offences.
Mr McLoughlin said he wanted to make using a hand-held mobile while driving as unacceptable as drink driving.
It is illegal to use a hand-held phone at the wheel, other than to call the emergency services. This also applies at traffic lights and in roadworks.
More than a million motorists have been convicted of using mobile phones since it was outlawed in 2003.
Research has shown attention decreases by 79 per cent when texting or calling while driving.