Talking, texting and tweeting drivers face higher fixed penalty fines
The majority of drivers will welcome increased motoring fixed penalty fines to tackle those who use hand held mobile telephones when driving, according to the AA.
Widespread illegal mobile phone use is often raised as a concern by AA members. The Transport Secretary has indicated that the fine will soon be increased from £60 as it hasn’t changed since 2000.
The use of hand held mobile telephones while driving has been illegal since 2003 when a fixed penalty of £30 was introduced.
Currently the standard motoring fixed penalty fine is £60 plus three penalty points and this has been the level since 2000 – it was extended to mobile phone offences in 2007.
In an AA-Populus poll three quarters of drivers (74%) see others using mobile phones on some or most journeys, with one quarter (25%) seeing it on every journey.
A small majority (58%) say they have never used a hand-held phone in the car but of the 42% that have used a phone 60% say it distracted them from driving, according to the poll of 20,936 drivers. The AA finds this worrying as it implies almost 40% think using a hand-held mobile is not distracting.
An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use
Edmund King, AA president
Edmund King, AA president said: “This epidemic of hand held mobile phone use while driving has already cost lives and our members are demanding action. An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use. However it is imperative that targeted police enforcement campaigns help to reinforce the message. AA members broadly support an increase in the level of the fixed penalty. Our members also fully support ‘education’ so for some offenders an awareness course may be all they need to persuade them to comply with the law in future.
“It is worrying that the equivalent of 6 million drivers even admit to texting on the move. Action must be taken to stop these talking, texting, tweeting drivers.”
“I think that at the moment the biggest risk is mobile phones. Most of drivers use them while driving or in traffic.”
“Drivers using telephones are still a major problem which the police seem unable to enforce”.
“Mobile Phones ..... when is something going to be done about drivers STILL using them whilst driving”?
“The continuing use of mobile phones when driving impacts on much of the insurance issues you have included in your survey. This is especially true of truck and van drivers and frantic mothers on the school run. Any steps to clamp down on this dangerous practice are to be welcomed”.
(13 May 2013)
Populus interviewed 20,936 adults aged 18+ on The AA-Populus online panel between 20 and 23 August 2012. Populus (www.populus.co.uk) is a founder member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.