More Penalties For Drivers Using Phone Behind The Wheel

From today, new drivers could lose their licence if they are caught just once using their phone behind the wheel.

New drivers could lose their license the first time they're caught using their mobile at the wheel.
 
Penalties have become tougher this morning, with points doubled from 3 to 6 and a 200 pound fine.
 
PC Mark Nott from Kent Police talks to Heart about the new rules.

 
 
The new measures are being introduced following a series of high-profile cases and research suggesting the practice of using a phone behind the wheel is widespread.
 
New drivers can have their licence revoked if they get six penalty points in their first two years on the road, which could now be the result of sending a single text message.
 
More experienced motorists can lose their licence if they receive 12 points in a three-year period.
 
Twenty-two people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents on Britain's roads in 2015 where a motorist using a mobile was a contributory factor, latest figures show.
 
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said increasing fixed penalties will be a "strong deterrent''.
 
He added: "Everyone has a part to play in encouraging their family and friends not to use their phones while driving. It is as inexcusable as drink driving.''
 
The Department for Transport said members of the public can report repeat offenders anonymously by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
 
Police forces are carrying out a seven-day crackdown with extra patrols and an 'increased focus' on catching drivers using handheld phones.
 
Around 3,600 motorists were handed penalties during a similar initiative last month.
 
According to the Transport Research Laboratory, reaction times are twice as long for drivers who are texting compared with those who have been drinking.
 
A new advert developed by the Government's road safety group Think! and the AA Charitable Trust shows a drunk man suggesting he should swap places with his sober girlfriend, who is texting on her phone while driving him home.
 
The campaign will be featured at cinemas and on billboards, radio and social media, with the message: "You wouldn't drink and drive. Don't text and drive.''
 
AA president Edmund King said too many motorists are 'addicted' to their phones, with half of young drivers unable to bring themselves to switch them off before starting a journey.
 
"We need to break this addiction and the best way is for drivers to go cold turkey - turn off the phone and put it in the glove box,'' he added.
 
Breakdown firm the RAC is urging motorists to pledge not to use their phones while driving on its new BePhoneSmart.uk website.
 
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said encouraging motorists to take personal responsibility for their actions must be at the heart of the campaign to change driving habits.
 
Motoring groups believe a sharp decline in the number of offenders caught is partly due to police budget cuts affecting enforcement.
 
An RAC survey found that one in four (26%) motorists admits checking texts, emails and social media while driving.

Police siren Man Stabbed In Ashford

A woman's been arrested on suspicion of attempted murder following an incident at a private residential property in Ashford.

Recently Played Tracks

On Radio: Jonny Meah

1pm - 5pm

Email the show

Text 'KENT' to 82122

Jonny Meah

Stay tuned...

Watch heart TV

  • Now playing: Non-stop hit music

Heart VIP

Local

Autumn Weather

Find your local four day weather report here.

Listening To Radio Win With Heart

Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.

Advertise Advertise in Kent

Get some great ideas on how to advertise your business on radio, online and on mobile.

Follow Heart on Twitter