Mobile phone penalties ‘send right signals’ - FTA 10 November 2016

The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the government’s proposal of higher fines and more stringent penalties for drivers using handheld phones, but warns that this could have little effect without better enforcement.

The Department for Transport has released its response to the consultation on penalties for using a handheld phone while driving, to which FTA contributed.

DfT proposes that offenders should receive: six points for all drivers (currently three); fines of £200 (currently £100); and no option to take a remedial course.

“These proposed changes should go some way towards making all drivers think about the consequences of their actions,” says Ian Gallagher, FTA head of driver and vehicle licensing policy. “Vocational drivers also risk their livelihood as many of our members already have in place a zero tolerance for employees in breach of these rules.”

In its consultation response, FTA highlighted the lack of enforcement – so it welcomes the DfT’s commitment to provide additional guidance and consider new technology where it aids detection and ensure effective prosecution.

Gallagher adds: “FTA agrees that these increased penalties should work to dissuade use, particularly in new drivers who risk losing their licence altogether. However, what is needed is a new effort to ensure the rules are enforced. Without enforcement, increasing the fines and penalties could have little impact on habitual users.”

Click the link below to see the full DfT response.

Laura Cork

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