Commenting as the new ban came into force, David Jamieson, road
safety minister said:
The vast majority of motorists know that driving and using a mobile
phone is dangerous and I hope that today's ban will make the roads
safer for everyone.
'You are four times more likely to be involved in an accident when
using a mobile phone and driving - and this new offence will help
make our roads safer.
'For their own safety and that of other road users, I hope motorists
will stop using their phones when driving. We don't want to catch
people - we want them to drive safely.
'Today's new offence applies to hand-held mobiles - but using any
type of phone while driving increases the risk of having an accident.
Remember the police can use other powers to prosecute a driver if
they are distracted by a call on a hands-free phone.'
1. The new offence takes effect from today [1 December 2003].
Initially offenders will be subject to a £30 fine, which can be
increased to a maximum fine of £1,000 if the matter goes to court. The
Government does plan to increase the penalty for the new offence by
making it subject to three penalty points and a £60 fixed penalty.
Primary legislation will be needed for this when a suitable
opportunity arises to amend Schedule 2 of the Road Traffic Offenders
Act 1988. We do not have a timetable for that yet.
2. A list of frequently asked questions about mobile phones and
driving is available from the Department for Transport's website.