Drivers face £1,000 mobiles fine

Drivers using mobile phones at the wheel will face fines of up to £1,000, the Government has announced

Initially offenders will be subject to a £30 fine, which can be increased to a maximum of £1,000 if the matter goes to court, Road Safety Minister David Jamieson said.

The new offence becomes law on December 1.

The Government is also planning to legislate to make it an endorsable offence, so drivers will get three points on their licence each time they are caught holding a phone.

Introducing the fines, Mr Jamieson said: "Driving whilst using a mobile phone is dangerous.

"We are all too familiar with the sight of people driving along while holding and talking on their mobile phones.

"Any driver will be distracted by a phone call or text message.

"It affects the ability to concentrate and anticipate the road ahead, putting the driver and other road users at risk. Our decision to introduce this new offence will make the roads safer for us all.

"Missing a call won't kill you, an accident quite possibly could."

Research demonstrated that driving and using a mobile phone meant motorists are four times more likely to have an accident, he said. Hands-free calls were also distracting and still put drivers at risk, he added.

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