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Recent crack-downs by police reflect the sheer number of drivers illegally using mobile phones while using motor vehicles –with approximately 8,000 people stopped across the UK in one week. The law currently prohibits the use of mobile devices while driving (unless via handsfree apparatus) and carries a risk of prosecution, 3 penalty points and a financial penalty. HOWEVER, the other purpose of such a crack-down is to highlight the changes in law being introduced shortly increasing the penalties for using a mobile phone while driving and doubling the current fine and the current penalty points. As a consequence the penalty points imposed will now increase from 3 to 6 points.
Who will this affect? Well, if you have 6 points at present and you receive 6 more you are looking at a ban from driving as well as the financial consequences. That could result in a loss of job, loss of housing and a plethora of other negative outcomes. Sometimes this can be challenged and for those application expert legal advice is vital. Also, if you have just passed your driving test and within two years get caught driving and using a phone you face revocation of your driving licence and the need to pay for and pass the whole test again. The Department for Transport have accepted this will disproportionately influence newly qualified drivers but they justify this by highlighting the increased risk from drivers under 25 in any event. The aim of such legislation is ultimately to make the roads a safer place however each case rests on its own facts and because of that accurate legal advice can make a huge difference.
So in short, driving and using your mobile devices is no longer just a huge risk to other road users – it is now a huge risk to your licence, lifestyle and more. If you have been stopped or face proceedings and need advice to protect your licence please contact our specialist motoring department on 01952 297979.
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