You should know by now that it is illegal to use your phone while you are driving. But from 1st March the rules have now changed and the punishments have become harder for anyone who is caught breaking those rules and we will be taking a closer look at those today.
What you risk
Under the new rules the fine has been increased to £200 and that instead of getting three points on your license this is now six points. Furthermore, if you are caught you will not get the option of a remedial course instead of these punishments.
If you have recently completed your driving test it is especially important to not use your phone because you could potentially lose your license.
If you are a repeat offender, then the fine could reach up to £1000 and you may receive a 6-month driving ban. While the focus is on phones this can also apply to other devices such as television screen, satnav or menu screens. These devices are useful in some respects but this should not stop people being aware of their surroundings and concentrating on what they should be doing.
While hands free kits are available this can still potentially cause distractions so it is important for drivers to be aware of what they are doing and how they use their technology. The rules especially focus on phones because in effect you are physically handling and looking at something else.
Why this is being brought in
There are a few reasons why this rules are being brought in – on the one hand it is meant to be more of a deterrent so that people are more aware of the potential punishments for being caught and act accordingly.
Another aspect of this is the reflection of the culture we live in – there is more access to technology and there is often a feeling that we need to keep in touch with those around us. While this is not exclusively the younger generation there is a fear about this due to the fact that children are growing up with this technology and see it as normal.
Therefore, it makes sense to make the message as clear as possible that in order to stay safe while driving you need to stay focused on the road and that means as few distractions as possible.
It should also be noted that cultural shifts like this are possible too – raised awareness of the dangers of drink driving and the importance of seatbelts have led to people not questioning why this is important so there is no reason to suggest that people are incapable of doing the same with regard to their phones.
If you are concerned about the new rules or want some clarification (for example with regards to using satnav through a phone app or using in-car systems) then it is worth contacting us. It is important to remember that these new rules are being brought in to improve safety for you and the people around you.