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2.5 million Speeding Fines Issued While Mobile Phone Behind Wheel Usage Almost Doubles…

2.5 million Speeding Fines Issued While Mobile Phone Behind Wheel Usage Almost Doubles…

The latest figures from the Home Office have revealed that more than 2.5 million drivers were hit with a fixed penalty notice, driver awareness course or a date in court in the year to the end of 2022.

Because data is compiled on a national scale before being scrutinised, the Home Office data for 2023 won’t be available until next year, but the insights are incredibly valuable for considerations relating to road safety.

One of the biggest revelations was that following tougher rules on mobile phone use after a change in the law, there was a 93% increase in the number of drivers breaking the law by using their phones while driving.

How Serious Are The Speeding and Distracted Driving Offence Levels?

It’s worth remembering that while the figures look concerning on the face of it, the new mobile phone laws were bound to increase offence figures.

That’s because the changes mean that drivers are breaking the law if they use a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel for any reason – including taking videos and photos, playing games, or choosing music playlists.

Any driver caught using a mobile device while driving faces a maximum fine of £1,000 and six points on their licence, with the punishment even being able to extend to a driving ban.

This replaced the previous law that was introduced in an age where mobile phones were primarily used for simply texting or making phone calls.

There are some exceptions, though. Drivers can make contactless payments at drive-thrus and toll booths, and hands-free devices are still permitted.

Crucially, though, drivers MUST take responsibility for their driving and can be charged with an offence if police find they aren’t in proper control of their vehicle… which is something we’ve seen an increase in.

How Are Motoring Offences Being Monitored?

One of the criticisms levelled at motoring laws in recent years has been the overreliance on police to administer fines and monitor driving offences in person.

That’s because it requires a significant police presence which isn’t realistic on the majority of roads at all times…

Which is why ‘Operation Snap’ was launched by police forces around the UK to provide a central place for road users to send in dashcam footage, as well as personal camera footage from cyclists, horse riders and pedestrians.

That, coupled with automated speed cameras on motorways and some main roads has helped relieve the burden on the police.

But with figures rising, the question has to be asked as to whether it’s simply a case of more drivers being caught or more offences being committed… although authorities will be hoping that these latest figures act as a deterrent to drivers.

Do you think new mobile phone laws have had a positive effect on road safety? And do you think enough is being done to tackle speeding and dangerous driving on the roads? Let us know in the comments below.