‘Your actions could kill’

Motorists caught using their mobile phones while driving will be slapped with an on-the-spot £200 fine and handed six penalty points – and those caught a second time will be banned for up to two years.

Under new government plans, expected to be introduced in the first half of next year, transport secretary Chris Grayling will impose far stricter penalties after mobile usage behind the wheel has spread to epidemic levels.

The RAC found that nearly a third of drivers admitted to using their phones while driving, compared to just eight per cent in 2014, and those figures are expected to increase as more and more technology increases the potential for distraction.

The immediate £200 fines could even increase to £1,000, while new drivers face losing their licences at the first offence.

Chris Grayling said, ‘As technology develops, mobile phones are common place, but we need to take responsibility for our actions and as drink or drug driving has become socially unacceptable, so must using mobile phones at the wheel.

‘It may seem harmless when you are replying to a text, answering a call or using an app, but the truth is your actions could kill and cause untold misery to others.

‘We all have a part to play in ensuring our family and friends do not use their phones while driving. I will be announcing a tougher new penalty regime shortly.’

Read bodyshop Magazine’s blog on the issue from a fortnight ago here: http://www.bodyshopmag.com/2016/blog/blog-casualties-of-the-phony-war/