Fixed Penalty Notice Increase From £60 To £90The Fixed Penalty Notice for using a hand-held mobile phone behind the wheel could increase from £60 to £90, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has suggested. This would represent a fifty percent rise – although there is no plan to simultaneously increase the three point licence endorsement. The hand-held mobile offence relates to making/receiving calls, sending/reading texts and surfing the internet, etc. Furthermore – despite what some people think – it is enforced while cars are stationary (say) at red lights or in traffic jams. The only exception is that motorists can legally use hand-held phones to contact the emergency services if it is impractical to stop. Since the mobile ban was introduced in 2003, more than one-million people have been convicted so it is a very common offence. As such, forty-two percent of drivers admitted to “using hand-held mobiles illegally” in a recent AA/Populus poll. In fact – over only a few days in a small geographical area – Police in East Riding caught thirty-four people using hand-held phones. Presumably, these had failed to note that a local pensioner had been killed recently by someone distracted by a phone. Research carried out for Which?, in fact, found that writing a text causes the driver's attention to drop seventy-nine percent.
Transport Secretary Discusses Dangerous Drivers
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “We want to send a clear message to dangerous drivers: if you continue to show complete disregard for the safety of other road users, we will catch you – and we will punish you.”
The Fixed Penalty Notice scheme is likely to expand to cover a wider range of bad behaviour. This could include chopping-up fellow motorists, which can be seen frequently on the motorways when people charge across multiple lanes of traffic to catch their favoured exits. These offenders could therefore soon be fined £90 and receive three penalty points for their trouble. The same could apply to tailgating which is following the car ahead to closely. This, of course, is dangerous as in extreme cases the following vehicle cannot stop if necessary. Furthermore, those who hog the middle lanes of motorways, light cigarettes behind the wheel, eat, or progress at inappropriate speeds could also be fined £90 (and receive three points). Today's £60 Fixed Penalty Notices for minor speeding offences and running traffic lights could also increase in-line.
Stephen Turvil, motoring.co.uk: 28th May 2013 15:14:00
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