Hordes of motorists already caught out by new law on using phone while driving

A taxi driver holding a mobile phone whilst driving on the A34 near Didcot in Oxfordshire. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 1, 2017. Penalties and fines for offenders caught using their phone behind the wheel will be doubled to six points and £200 respectively from today. See PA story TRANSPORT Mobiles. Photo credit should read: Steve Parsons/PA Wire
A taxi driver holding a mobile phone whilst driving on the A34 near Didcot in Oxfordshire (Picture: PA)

Motorists have already been caught flouting new laws on phone usage behind the wheel – on the very day they came into force.

Scores of drivers using phones have been handed penalties and fines doubled to six points and £200 as road patrols on the first day of the law change get under way.

By noon on Wednesday, police said they had stopped 31 drivers on their mobiles in Dorset.

One of these was a driver of a 7.5 tonne lorry using his phone while travelling around a roundabout in the Bournemouth area, the force said.

Another driver who was stopped by police in Norfolk was responding to a message about her lost puppy being found.

A van driver holding a mobile phone whilst driving on the M20 near Ashford, Kent. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 1, 2017. Penalties and fines for offenders caught using their phone behind the wheel will be doubled to six points and £200 respectively from today. See PA story TRANSPORT Mobiles. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
A van driver holding a mobile phone whilst driving on the M20 near Ashford, Kent (Picture: PA)
People driving on the A3 through Guildford using their mobile phones on the day that the points for the offence has increased to 6 points on your licence and a £200 fine. Guildford. March 1, 2017.
Motorists on the A3 through Guildford using their phones on the day that the points for the offence has increased to 6 points on your licence and a £200 fine. Guildford (Picture: SWNS)

The force tweeted that it had stopped 11 drivers on their phones in the space of just 90 minutes.

More than 20 motoring offences were detected by officers from Kent’s Roads Policing Unit this morning.

Of those stopped, 12 drivers were using their phones, four for not being in proper control of their vehicle and another four for driving at excess speed.

A driver who appeared to be talking to a parrot – yes, a parrot – perched on the steering wheel was also stopped after his van was spotted swerving between lanes on the M20, the force said.

LONDON - FEBRUARY 22: A Police pulls a car over as part of a drive to inform motorists of the risk of using a phone whilst driving on February 22, 2007 in London, England. New research has proved driving while on the telephone is stastically more dangerous than drink driving. The new law, which comes in effect at 00: 01 February 27, 2007, will result in a GBP60 fine and three points being added to the offenders' licence. (Photo by Bruno Vincent/Getty Images)
An officer pulls a car over as part of a drive to inform motorists of the risk of using a phone whilst driving in London (Picture: Getty)

 

People driving on the A3 through Guildford using their mobile phones on the day that the points for the offence has increased to 6 points on your licence and a £200 fine. Guildford. March 1, 2017.
Hordes of drivers have already been caught (Picture: SWNS)

One driver had his vehicle seized for using a mobile phone while driving, not using a seat belt and driving without insurance.

Thames Valley Police said 11 people were stopped for using phones, including two new drivers, in its first patrol of the day. Another five people were stopped for not wearing seat belts.

A journalist believed to be on his way to cover the launch of new penalties was also stopped for using his mobile while driving.

Other police forces are expected to release figures after a week-long national crackdown.

Around 3,600 motorists were handed penalties in a similar initiative last month.

A van driver holding a mobile phone whilst driving on the M20 near Ashford, Kent. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday March 1, 2017. Penalties and fines for offenders caught using their phone behind the wheel will be doubled to six points and £200 respectively from today. See PA story TRANSPORT Mobiles. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
A van driver holding a mobile phone whilst driving on the M20 near Ashford, Kent (Picture: PA)

Changes to laws on driving

The new driving penalties include:

New drivers can have their licence revoked if they get six penalty points in their first two years on the road, which could now be the result of sending a single text message.

More experienced motorists can lose their licence if they receive 12 points in a three-year period.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said increasing fixed penalties will be a ‘strong deterrent’ for motorists.

Twenty-two people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents on Britain’s roads in 2015 where a motorist using a mobile was a contributory factor, latest figures show.

According to the Transport Research Laboratory, reaction times are twice as long for drivers who are texting compared with those who have been drinking.

And an RAC survey found that one in four (26%) motorists admits checking texts, emails and social media while driving.

Read more: http://metro.co.uk/2017/03/01/hordes-of-motorists-already-caught-out-by-new-law-on-using-phone-while-driving-6481661/#ixzz4aMcAFmca

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