Police are backing tougher mobile phone penalties

Tougher penalties for using mobile phones while driving
Tougher penalties for using mobile phones while driving

Lincolnshire Police are backing a campaign to raise awareness about tough new penalties for driving while using a mobile phone.

From March 1, drivers caught using a phone behind the wheel will receive six points on their driving licence and a £200 fine.

Officers hope these changes will have a “significant impact” on young drivers in particular, as they risk having their driving licence revoked following a first offence.

Motorists caught will also no longer be offered the opportunity to go on a driver awareness course.

Police forces are working with road safety partnerships and the government during a week-long campaign to increase awareness of the changes to the legislation – the focus of the campaign is mainly on education.

A second campaign will run in March, which will focus more heavily on enforcement.

John Siddle, a spokesman for the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said; “The offence of using a mobile phone while driving has long been in place, yet some drivers feel their call is more important than the safety of other road users.

“Drivers behaving this way are often in the news when tragedy strikes and families are affected, but drivers still believe it will not happen to them until it does.

“It is hoped the new penalties, of six points and £200, will deter those drivers who put so much at risk.”

It is illegal to use a mobile phone, held in the hand, while driving, or while stopped with the engine on.

When the RAC surveyed 1,714 motorists, 31 per cent of them said they used a handheld phone behind the wheel compared with 8 per cent in 2014.