Charity welcomes tougher penalties for mobile phone use behind the wheel

News from Brake

1 March 2017 
news@brake.org.uk

The government has introduced (1st March) tougher penalties for those caught using mobile phones when driving. Points on a driving licence have doubled, from three to six and the penalty fine has increased from £100, to £200.

The move has been generally welcomed by road safety charity, Brake, but it warns that the fine is still too low, and it remains concerned about the police having enough resources to enforce the new law.

Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, said: “The increase in the points is very welcome. However, when you realise that you can be fined £1,000 for not having a TV licence, then the £200 fine for illegally using a mobile looks woefully inadequate.”

“We’re also very concerned about the ever dwindling number of roads traffic police. Their numbers have fallen by almost a third since 2010. There are now approximately 3,700 specialist traffic officers in England and Wales. We want the UK government to look again at this, and make roads policing a national priority."

[ENDS]

Notes to editors

The Department for Transport’s THINK! road safety unit launched an awareness campign on 1 March, featuring the Brake volunteers – the Carvin family 11 years ago, they lost a loving mother and wife. Paul, Emily and Ben share their heart breaking story about how one driver texting at the wheel changed their lives forever. 

Their story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DHGeLBc5qY&feature=youtu.be

Here’s Brake’s ‘fact checker’ on mobile phone use behind the wheel. http://www.brake.org.uk/facts-resources/1654-talking-reading-and-responding-at-the-wheel

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.