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Should Illegal Phone Use Lead to Confiscation?

Fears that current provisions are failing to curb the illegal use of mobile phones by drivers have led one commentator to suggest that motorists who use their mobiles illegally at the wheel should have them confiscated.

"The legislation is still lacking for these offenses, and does not take into account the use of phone watches,” explained Police Constable Jayne Willetts, who is the lead on roads policing for the Police Federation of England and Wales. “As technology is rapidly progressing, I fear our legislation is already behind the times.”

"Is the seizure of mobile phones or their sim cards - along with an education system - the way forward, combined with fines?” she added. “I don't know, but it's a question worth asking."

The call came on the same day that the transport element of the British Social Attitudes Survey 2015 was published.

This revealed that whilst 90% of respondents agreed that use of hand-held mobiles while driving is dangerous, 48% agree that all mobiles, including hands-free sets, are dangerous, and 39% agree that even hands-free sets should be banned.

"For people whose smartphone has become essential to their lifestyle the risk of confiscation could be a bigger deal than a fine or points on their driving licence,” commented Steve Gooding, director of the RAC Foundation. "It would be a massive step to give police the power to mete out summary justice in this way.”

"But with far too many people still flouting the law maybe it will take something as blunt and brutal as ‘you use it, you lose it’ to get the message across," he concluded.

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