The Government is considering increasing the minimum number of penalty points imposed for using a mobile telephone when driving. If the plans go ahead it could mean that the penalty points and financial penalties are both doubled.
Presently, the offence attracts 3 penalty points or potentially a ban in very serious cases. However, under the proposed changes drivers could be facing 6 penalty points for a first offence and this could have some fairly devastating consequences if the changes are approved.
- New drivers (those within the first two years of passing their test) would face having their licence revoked and retaking their driving test after just one offence.
- All other drivers would face a 6 month disqualification under the ‘totting up’ procedures after just two offences.
Currently it is illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive a motor vehicle whilst using a hand-held phone or similar device. However, most people do not realise that the rules are exactly the same even if you have stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
Therefore, if you were a new driver who sent a quick text whilst waiting at a red light on the way home from the test centre, telling your parents that you had passed your driving test, you could find yourself having to retake your test immediately under the new proposals! Although texting is one example, it equally applies to checking Facebook, using Twitter or sending a photo via Snapchat or Instagram. You can only legitimately ‘use’ your mobile device if you are safely parked.
If the plans go ahead there could well be a surge in people who are at risk of losing their licences. It is important to note that when a driver is in danger of reaching 12 points under the totting provisions, or a new driver is at risk of having their licence revoked, the specialist motoring lawyers at Cartwright King will often be able to offer expert advice and assistance which could help save a persons licence.
Call David Ollivere, our motoing expert based at our Worcester office, or our national team of specialist Motoring Solicitors on 0808 168 5550 for a no obligation, free initial telephone consultation.
Cartwright King can assist wherever you are based. We also have offices in London, Birmingham, Bedford, Bolton, Derby, Leeds, Leicester, Luton, Manchester, Milton Keynes, Newcastle Gateshead, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Sheffield and Wellingborough.