Due to the introduction of new and tougher laws this year, hundreds of new drivers are given automatic bans for using their mobile phones at the wheel.
Punishments for driving whilst on the phone doubled to six points in March for all those in England, Scotland and Wales.
This has also meant that drivers with less than two years’ experience would face a ban.
Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling had hoped that when the new penalties were introduced in March they would act as a “strong deterrent” to mobile phone users.
However, figures obtained by Radio 5 live have revealed that 290 new UK drivers were disqualified within the first six months of the law changes.
The figures, initially released by the DVLA under the Freedom of Information Act, suggest that a total of 15,752 drivers received six penalty points for using a mobile phone between March and August.
This is an increase from 15,237 drivers in the same period in 2016.
Pete Williams, a spokesperson for RAC road safety commented that the figures were “sad” to see and that those who have invested money in learning to drive to gain personal freedom risk throwing it all away due to foolish behaviour at the wheel.
The motoring law changes have a big impact on newer drivers, as those who are within two years of passing their test automatically lose their licence if caught using their phones whilst driving. They then have to re take both theory and practical parts of the driving test in order to drive again.
Constable Anthony Bangham, the National Police Chiefs' Council lead for roads policing commented that the police take the offence very seriously. "This is not a minor offence and is never a risk worth taking because a moment's distraction behind the wheel can change lives forever. Further adding, "Our message is simple - don't do it."
“Our experience mirrors these stats. Since the points increase we have seen a rise in drivers and particularly new drivers getting in touch. Sometimes we can help, but options are limited and much the best course is to avoid any mobile use.”
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