Points for drivers using mobile phones

Contributed by editor on Nov 30, 2004 - 04:33 PM


Motorists speeding, drink-driving or using their mobile phones will get tougher penalties under Government plans to improve road safety.

The penalties for using a hand held mobile phone are to increase and drivers will face three penalty points on their licence.

The proposals, outlined by the Transport Secretary Alistair Darling, aim to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on Britain's roads every year.

Measures in the new Road Safety Bill include:

    * new police powers to take drink-drive evidence at the roadside
    * powers to allow mandatory re-testing of drivers disqualified for 24 months or more - tougher penalties for the worst offending drink drivers and other irresponsible drivers
    * more flexible system of fixed penalties for speeding to match the punishment to the severity of the offence
    * tougher penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, careless driving and using a vehicle in a dangerous condition
    * clamping down on uninsured drivers and new powers to seize and dispose of uninsured vehicles
    * clarify the provisions that allow certain vehicles to exceed listed speed limits in emergency situations
    * tackle fatigue-related accidents by piloting motorway rest areas
    * tackle licence fraud and help prevent "clocking" in vehicles

Announcing the new measures, the Transport Secretary said that the UK has a good road safety record.

    "The number of road casualties is at its lowest for nearly fifty years - but even so, much more needs to be done.

    "Ten people die on the roads every day and there are still some problem areas like drink driving which need to be tackled.

    "The measures in the Road Safety Bill will improve safety, making penalties tougher but fairer, cracking down on antisocial driving and further reduce the unnecessary death and injury on the roads."

Despite having one of the best road safety records in the world the Government's committed to reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads by 40 per cent by 2010.

37,215 were killed or seriously injured in 2003 - 22 per cent less than the 1994-98 average. However, in 2003, 3508 people were killed on the roads.