GEM Motoring Assist, road safety organisation and the number one for breakdown cover in the UK, surveyed drivers to find out how they feel about the current penalties for motorists caught using mobile phones, asking if they are too lenient and whether they act as a serious deterrent.
Currently, motorists are fined £60 and receive three points on their drivers licence if caught using their mobile phone. With approximately 211,000 motorists prosecuted for mobile phone use in 2010 alone, GEM’s survey results show that 91 per cent of UK drivers think the penalties should be increased to act as more of a deterrent. More than 90 per cent believe that the fine for drivers using mobile phones should go up to £100, and more than 82 per cent think six penalty points, not three, should be handed out to offenders.
David Williams MBE, CEO of GEM Motoring Assist, comments: “It’s interesting to see that drivers themselves believe that the penalties are not severe enough. Driving while using a mobile phone can make motorists four times more likely to have a crash and reaction times 50 per cent worse than when driving normally, making it one of the most dangerous laws to break on the road. Although having a mobile phone in your car for emergencies is advisable we also urge motorists to switch it off when driving to avoid distraction and the temptation to use it. We are working hard, in partnership with the National Campaign for Courtesy, to raise awareness of the dangers of driving while using a mobile phone and have created a free leaflet on this issue to continue to make our roads a safer place,” David concludes.