Mobile Phone Road Safety Law
Legislation regarding the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving came into force on 27th February 2007, imposing tougher penalties than it’s predecessor bill which failed to effectively ward off drivers. The Road Safety Act 2006 comes as part of government plans to reduce death and serious injuries on the road by 40% by 2010.
The penalties for driving holding a mobile phone will result in a minimum £60 fine and 3 points on your license, which may increase insurance premiums. It takes only 6 points to have your license revoked within the first 2 years of passing, and 9 points otherwise.
If the incident reaches court, the driver risks disqualification and the fine could increase to up to £1000 or £2500 in the case of buses, coaches and goods vehicles.
The government is trying to increase awareness among drivers of the physical risks involved if the mobile phone ban is not adhered to. Much research has been carried out which reveals that driving whilst using your hand-held mobile phone impairs your judgement by almost 50% compared to when driving normally. This is a reaction time 30% slower than that of a person driving under the influence of alcohol.
Research also shows that using a hand-held mobile phone while driving increases the likelihood of a crash by four times.
If it is necessary to make or receive a call, drivers are reminded that the hard shoulder is not a safe place to pull over. The best course of action involves waiting for good traffic conditions and subsequently making, or taking the call using a fitted hands-free mobile phone, alerting the caller that you are driving and remembering to keep conversation as brief as possible.
Following the new legislation, strong recommendations have been made to employers to provide employees with hands-free equipment, which stands as the only legal method of making and receiving calls while driving.