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Driving: Mobile Phones

Volume 472: debated on Thursday 21 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps the Government have taken to reduce the numbers of drivers using mobile telephones when driving in the last three years. (186293)

[holding answer 19 February 2008]: From 1 December 2003 using a hand-held mobile phone while driving became a specific, non-endorsable, fixed-penalty offence. The fixed penalty was £30. If the case went to court, the maximum fine was £1,000. The Road Safety Act 2006, with effect from 27 February 2007, made the offence endorsable, with three penalty points and a £60 fixed penalty.

The latest figures, for 2005, show that the police took enforcement action against 129,700 drivers for the specific offence of driving while using a hand-held mobile phone. This is a 72 per cent. increase on the 2004 figure.

The Department for Transport (DfT) has publicised the offence since its introduction, to emphasise that it is dangerous and that offenders will be punished. DfT plan to spend some £1.5 million in 2007-08 on television, radio and cinema advertising. The current campaign started on 1 February. In addition DfT provides printed materials to local authority road safety officers who mount their own campaigns .