The government says it is is planning to increase penalties for drivers caught using hand-held mobile phones whilst driving.
If the changes come into force, the fixed penalty would increase from £100 to £150. Repeat offenders would face an increase from the current three penalty points to four. HGV drivers would see the number of points increased from three to six.
The government says that in 2014 five hundred accidents, some fatal, were caused by drivers using hand-held mobiles. At the same time, recent figures show that prosecutions for the offence have fallen.
Under the plans, most first time offenders would be offered an educational course, but repeat offenders would be prosecuted.
The consultation comes as scientists have compared the effect of mobile phone use while driving with the effects of alcohol. The plans will go to public consultation next year, although mobile phone use whilst driving may well receive increased police attention in the meantime.
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