Phone use yields £5.5m in fines

Police in Britain have handed out over 27,000 fines to drivers for illegally using a mobile phone since March this year, when the penalty for the offence doubled.

Research by car reviews website Carbuyer.co.uk has found that 27,614 drivers have been caught on their phones in the last six months; this equates to roughly 149 drivers a day across the country.

Under the new £200 FPN, police across Britain will have earned as much as £5.5m.

The figures, obtained through a series of Freedom of Information requests to the 44 police constabularies in Britain, also suggest a declining number of drivers are being caught for the offence.

In 2016, the number of mobile-phone offences issued to drivers between March and September was 47,923, while the same period in 2015 saw over 59,000 penalties handed out for the offence – a reduction of 54% over the two years. Since January 2014, Britain’s police forces have issued 348,429 fines for drivers caught with mobile phones.

A spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said, ‘It’s too early to tell conclusively whether recent campaigns, higher penalty fines and targeted operations have reduced the number of people using mobiles while driving, but we are working closely with partners to evaluate this.’

RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said, ‘Our own research found that there’s still a hardcore of nine million drivers who appear to have not changed their behaviour in the slightest and continue to use their handheld phone.’