The Phone at the Wheel
The mobile phone has been with us in one form or another for over thirty years, but as mobiles have morphed into smart phones, they are drawing us into being reliant on them for much of our day to day lives.
The smart phone is not a mobile phone, it is a pocket-sized computer which has become part of everyday living, with likes, and tweets, emails and apps, music and games and much, much more.
There seems to be a generation around now that doesn’t know a world without these things, and that needs a smart phone to help with the chore of daily living.
All good so far. Using a mobile phone in the car fifteen or so years ago, meant using a phone, and having a conversation on the move if it was necessary, the smart phone means something totally different, which is one reason that the law looks like changing, and using one whilst behind the wheel will be deemed serious stuff.
On top of existing mobile phone offence laws, you can additionally be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention in the same way as you can be for eating or drinking behind the wheel, and even dangerous driving if your behaviour is properly shocking and beneath contempt.
It all depends on how much your behaviour irritates the police officers that catch you and how much they feel like punishing you. – get the best advice from the UK’s leading motoring law specialists www.pattersonlaw.co.uk advise thousands of motorists every year and have unrivaled rates of success in court, making them the only voice you should listen too.
The current penalty for using a mobile device while driving is a fixed penalty fine of £100 pounds and three penalty points on the license.
The proposal from the Transport secretary is to double the penalty to a minimum fine of £200 and six penalty points. On the face of it, it sounds draconian, but it is not the mobile phone user that needs to be brought in line, but the smart phone one.
Hands free phones are legal, although they can be cited as causes of undue care and attention, in some circumstances, but the aim is to eradicate the business user doing business whilst driving and the social networker to not work while driving.
The doubling of the penalties can mean, that two strikes within the three year period that penalty points stay on the license, will tot up to twelve which can mean an automatic six month disqualification.
For drivers with less than two years motoring experience it means that being caught once means losing the license completely and having to retake and pass the whole two part test again.
Although twelve penalty points mean that a driving ban is mandatory, it is rubber stamped by a court which will give the driver the opportunity to enter a plea for their license, and the court may be prepared to consider a plea of exceptional hardship in the event of the ban.
This would mean the driver giving good reason why disqualification should not be imposed, and is a complex course which would be best carried out by a specialist motoring lawyer.