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Mobile use whilst driving rises

Mobile use whilst driving rises

The number of people who use their mobile phones whilst driving is on the rise, but fines for breaking the law in this way appear unlikely, according to the latest statistics.

The Home Office has released figures which show the number of people receiving roadside fines as a result of being caught using a mobile phone when behind the wheel has dropped for a third consecutive year.

This is seen as a signal that most are ignoring the law and that police officers are unwilling to hand out fines, according to road safety activists.

Three years ago, legislation made it illegal to use a mobile phone behind the wheel, with a £60 instant penalty payable by anyone found to be doing so.

Campaigners believe that this fine is too small for an act that can endanger lives, citing the fact that people who do not clean up after their dogs can face up to £1000 for a subjectively harmless misdemeanour.

Various celebrities and most recently Labour MP Ed Balls, have been caught violating the no-phones rule whilst driving and most have either accepted the fine or escaped unpunished.

In 2009, 116,000 drivers were hit with the phone fine, which is 30 per cent lower than the figures reached in the first year after the law came into force.

It has been suggested in an independent study by the Department for Transport that nearly a third more drivers are talking, texting or interacting with their phones illegally than in previous years.

"This is clearly a law which is being flouted and isn't being enforced to a degree that actually makes people think that they are going to get caught," said road safety campaigner Sarah Fatica.

"There is insufficient enforcement. Drivers don't think they will get caught," according to a spokesperson from the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

Category: News
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