Will new fines help prevent road traffic accidents
The introduction of new penalties for ‘careless driving offences’ as well as increasing of some existing penalties have been unveiled by transport minister, Patrick McLoughlin.
The fine for using a mobile phone whilst driving will be increased by 50% - from £60 to £90 – whilst the number of penalty points will remain at three.
The latest crackdown will also see the enforcement of the same penalty for a range of previous unpunished driving acts including:
- Cutting up other drivers
- Eating a sandwich
- Smoking a cigarette
- Driving at an inappropriate speed, and
- Needlessly hogging the middle lane of a motorway.
Patrick McLoughlin comments on the changes:
“We want to save a clear message to dangerous drivers: if you continue to show complete disregard for the safety of other road users, we will catch you – and we will punish you.”
However with figures demonstrating that using a mobile phone whilst driving causes more impairment, and therefore potentially contributes to more road traffic accidents, than being at the drink-drive limit or even under the influence of cannabis, are these new penalties strict enough?
According to the Department of Transport’s Reported Road Casualties Annual Report, using a mobile phone whilst driving contributed to over 550 road traffic accidents in 2011 alone.
Content correct at time of publication