BAN DRIVERS CAUGHT USING A MOBILE PHONE – The UK’s top cop, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe wants to get tough on those who use their mobile phones will driving; which is against the law.
Sir Bernard is proposing that the first offence of being caught should result in 6 penalty points being imposed on the driver’s licence. A second offense would result in another 6 penalty points which results in an automatic disqualification from driving.
Sir Bernard is worried as to the number of accidents that occur due to drivers paying more attention to their phone calls or text messages rather than how they are driving.
It appears as if many of us really don’t care that we are flouting the law, putting our lives at risk or worse risking the lives of others – some people are simply so self indulgent to their needs they are quite happy to risk other lives, just so they don’t miss a call or feel compelled to engage in a text messaging session while driving their cars.
Sir Bernard stated that he has noticed a sharp rise in offenses and obviously the penalties are not sufficiently severe in order to produce a deterrent and therefore proposes new penalties that will act as a real deterrent.
Sir Bernard also noted that a high number of offenders were young or new drivers and in these cases the message needs to be stronger and therefore a ban with the requirement of having retake the driving test should also be imposed.
The current system currently requires police officers to issue on-the-spot fines and impose a 3 point penalty on their licence. This means that an offender may commit the same offense four times before being disqualified from driving – that’s four times a person could end up killing an innocent person.
In recent times the Government have increased the penalty for such an offence from £30 to £60 but according to motoring organisations and the police, this has had little to no effect on the number of offences and it is now time to crack down on mobile usage while driving.
According to motoring organisations the police fined over 200,000 motorists last year and it is expect to rise considerably this year. This rise is a clear danger to other road users and such is the distraction some suggest that using a mobile phone will driving is actually more dangerous than drink driving.
The AA Motoring Organisation has suggested there is strong evidence in the increase in mobile phone usage, while driving, to justify such a penalty increase as Sir Bernard is suggesting.
It is NOT an offence to talk on the phone providing you are using a hands-free kit. However, scientists have discovered that the increased demand on the brain poses a real risk to the diminished capabilities to operate a vehicle safely. Some have concluded that at no time, hands-free or not, should a driver talk on a phone while operating a vehicle.
The Government had plans to increase the fines further from the now £60 to as high as £100 although this has yet to take effect.
Personally I have to agree with Sir Bernard. I think it would be fair to impose a 6 point penalty and then on the second offence impose a complete ban from driving for 1 year. The only way people will stop the practice of using a mobile phone behind the wheel is to impose a penalty severe enough to make them think twice before doing so.