It’s one of the most annoying sights on the road – the car in front of yours is being driven erratically because the driver is on their mobile phone and not concentrating properly, endangering the lives of other motorists as well as themselves.
So when the Government increased the penalty for being caught using a mobile while behind the wheel in March last year, the vast majority of motorists cheered.
And latest figures show that the tougher rules seem to have had the intended effect.
How have the penalties increased?
By doubling the potential penalty for mobile misuse while driving, the Department of Transport appears to have made a big impact.
The number of penalty points went up from three to six and the cash fine from £100 to £200.
Tougher new rules slash offences
Analysis by car warranty provider Warranty Direct shows that the number of fines handed out for the offence has fallen by a dramatic 44% compared to the period before the new rules took effect.
Warranty Direct’s figures also show that when compared to even earlier years, the impact is more dramatic. 6,175 penalties were dished out to motorists between March and December last year, 59% lower than for the same months in 2013.
Less experienced drivers must retake driving test
The increased penalty also means that those drivers who have only had a full licence for two years or less must immediately retake their driving test if caught.
That’s not a prospect many would relish!
Huge increase in insurance costs
Those caught using their mobile while also face problems with their insurance.
Insurers understandably view offenders as higher risk, and many won’t renew cover or offer a new policy to anyone who has been penalised.
In fact, research carried out earlier this year by the AA found that four-in-nine motor insurance providers would refuse to insure drivers with a CU80 mobile offence.
Those who do manage to find cover could expect an average increase in premiums of a whopping 40 per cent, with the higher premiums lasting for up to five years.
All-in-all, it goes to show that being daft and using a mobile while driving is not only stupid and dangerous, it could leave a motorist potentially unable to drive and with hugely increased costs.
The customer service team at Policy Expert is always on hand to help – either online or over the phone. Whether you want assistance in finding the right policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 23rd October 2018