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Driving: Mobile Phones

Volume 461: debated on Monday 11 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what steps his Department is taking to deter drivers from using mobile phones when driving. (141437)

The Road Safety Act 2006 increased the penalty for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving to three penalty points and discretionary disqualification on top of the existing fine of up to £1,000 (£2,500 in the case of the driver of a goods vehicle or a bus/coach). If a fixed penalty is accepted the penalty is three points and a £60 fine. The new penalty came into effect on 27 February 2007. If the police see poor driving and find a driver distracted by a call on a hands-free mobile phone, then they can prosecute the offence of not being in a position to have proper control of a vehicle. The same penalties apply. The police have stepped up their enforcement of these offences.

In addition, extensive publicity is being run as part of the Department's THINK! road safety campaign. The campaign to publicise the higher penalty was launched in January 2007, using a mix of television, press, radio and online advertising and which included a TV advertisement which features a new message aimed at those who call people who are driving.