Stiffer penalties for mobile phone drivers

Motorists detected using their mobile phone while driving will face stiffer penalties from today.

A £60 fine and three points can be imposed. But those sent to court may get up to a maximum fine of £1000, or £2,500 in the case of a bus or goods vehicle, and face the prospect of disqualification.

The AA said the new legislation should underline the connection between using the mobile phone whilst driving and the associated risks. The motoring organisation warned that police could trace phone calls to ascertain if a phone call had been made.

The Association of Chief Police officers said recent figures indicated that 77,000 people had been fined for using mobiles when driving.

Police say that prosecutions may follow even if a Bluetooth or other hands-free kit was being used, if it could be proved that the driver was not in full control of the vehicle, as an offence had been committed.

Government figures indicate that 13 deaths and over 400 injuries were blamed on mobile phone use while driving in 2005.


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