New penalties from next month

GEM Motoring Assist has warned drivers that new penalties for using their mobile phones behind the wheel come into force on 1 March.

From next month, guilty drivers will receive six penalty points and a £200 fine.

GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said, ‘There is serious risk in the physical distraction of holding a phone while driving. But there is also the risk of the mental distraction every driver faces when trying to do something else other than drive.

‘We all have 100% concentration available at any one time; anyone deliberately allowing some of that concentration to be directed at something other than the driving task is comprising safety.’

New drivers face having their licences revoked through just one mobile phone offence under the new rules. Neil said, ‘Having your licence revoked in the first two years of driving means spending more than £100 to reapply for a provisional licence and take new theory and practical tests. Add that to the £200 fine and you’re looking at a very costly process.’