The UK Government has launched a new THINK! road safety campaign aimed at reducing illegal mobile phone use while driving.
On 1st of March this year penalties for using a handheld mobile while driving were doubled to a £200 fine and six penalty points. This means that drivers caught twice face a lengthy ban – which could also then lead to a £1,000 fine. New drivers - those who have passed within the last two years - face having their licence revoked if caught just once. More than 15,000 fines have apparently been issued to drivers using a handheld phone since the new penalties were introduced.
Following the March THINK! campaign, awareness of the penalties increased by 89%, and 47% of those that had seen the adverts said they were less likely to use their phone when driving as a result.
The latest campaign is taking a different approach to the normal hard-hitting THINK! campaigns in an attempt to be more effective at influencing the target audience – those aged 17 to 34. This age group is three times more likely than over 35s to use a handheld mobile while driving.
“Driving while distracted by a mobile phone is completely unacceptable and puts everyone on the roads at risk of serious harm,” explained Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing. “Police are making use of the tougher penalties to clamp down on this dangerous behaviour – but we have to be clear that when you get behind the wheel it is your responsibility to stay focused and alert.”
If you have been charged with a road traffic offence, including illegal mobile phone use, then contact our specialist criminal defence lawyers today.
Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v3.0.