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Seizure of Mobile Phones – Changes on the Horizon

February 3, 2017 by in category Mobile Phone Offence, News with 0 and 0
Home > News > Mobile Phone Offence > Seizure of Mobile Phones – Changes on the Horizon
Seizure of Mobile Phones

The current hot topic in the media is the use of mobile phones while driving. With raises to the current penalties in the very foreseeable future, and proposed seizing of mobile phones if caught using it while driving, the law and the police have been cracking down on those who use mobile phones while driving now more than ever.

So, what does this mean for the everyday driver who is found to use their mobile phone while driving? For many, it will mean points on their licence and a fine but unlike a certain brightly coloured mobile network provider’s slogan, the future looks far from bright!

Proposed Penalty Increase

The current penalty for using a mobile phone while driving is 3 penalty points and a fine of £100, but under the proposed changes that are due to come into effect on March 1st of this year, drivers found using their mobile phone while driving will face an increased fixed penalty fine of £200 and a whopping 6 penalty points to their licence. This means that any new drivers who are still within their 2 years of passing their test will lose their licence and must take a re-test.

Along with these penalties, drivers who cases end up in court could be disqualified from driving and get a maximum fine of £1000, with drivers of buses or goods vehicles facing a maximum fine of £2500.

Proposed Seizure of Phones

police seizure of mobile phones if drivingOne of the leading members of the Police Federation of England and Wales, Constable Jayne Willetts, has suggested that drivers who are found using their mobile phone while driving should have their mobile phones confiscated. Ms Willetts has stated that “The legislation is still lacking for these offences, and does not take into account the use of phone watches. As technology is rapidly progressing, I fear our legislation is already behind the times”. Partly due to this new stance on confiscation is because of recent statistics that 22 people were killed and 99 injured in accidents citing mobile phones as contributory factors in 2015. With more high profile cases and research coming out about mobile phones while driving, the intensity for the legislation to reflect these changes will continue to grow.

When can I use my phone while driving?

The only time you are permitted to use your mobile phone while driving (or stopped at a light for that matter) is when:

  1. Is if you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop; or
  2. Are safely parked with your engine switched off.

Otherwise, police may stop you if they believe you are not in full control of your vehicle and are distracted. This includes using your sat-nav, and changing the radio. It is also illegal for you to use your hand-held phone while supervising a learner driver.

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