Drop in Fixed Penalty Notices for drivers on the phone
Recently released police figures suggest that the number of drivers given penalty points for using their phone whilst they were driving fell by more than 40% between 2010 and 2014! In 2014 some 72,753 fixed penalty notices were issued by the 36 police forces across England and Wales who provided this data, down from 122,752 in 2010.
Drivers who are caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel can be given a fixed penalty notice – this means three penalty points on their licence and a £100 fine. Last year the Transport Secretary suggested that drivers caught using their mobiles could in future have six penalty points put on their licence.
In other data released by the police forces it seems that they are offering first time offenders a road safety course rather the a fixed penalty notice. More than 99,000 people attended the ‘What’s driving us?’ course in 2014 up 53% on 2013.
Personal injury solicitor, Kevin Smith commented:
“There are countless examples of car accidents caused by inattention at the wheel; amongst these there are the accidents due to the use of mobile phones. I read of one such accident recently where a young man died in a car crash on his way back from a road safety awareness course moments after sending a text.
“In my job, dealing with people injured in a road accident I see first-hand the devastating impact that road accidents can have on people’s lives both through deaths and through injuries. A momentary distraction to answer a phone call or send a text can be all it takes to change the course of someone’s life for ever. Whichever approach works best in deterring phoning whilst driving should now be implemented consistently amongst police forces to stop these needless accidents.”
Content correct at time of publication