Dealing with those who phone and drive …
An article by Simon Black, 2 September 2014
Using a mobile phone and other hand-held devices, whilst driving, is a criminal offence. Studies have shown this to be a serious road safety risk. If this happens whilst driving a large vehicle such as a bus or lorry, the risk is even greater.
The government is introducing a range of measures to deal with mobile phone use whilst driving and has recently increased the fixed penalty for this offence to £100. Offenders will also get 3 penalty points put on their DVLA driver record.
We’re doing all we can at DVLA to help improve road safety by supporting the drive to deal with this unwanted behaviour.
What we’ll be doing
From mid September we’ll be issuing letters to all Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) or Public Service Vehicle (PSV) drivers who get penalty points put on their driver record for this specific offence.
What the letter will say
The letter will inform the driver of the risks involved if they continue to use hand held devices whilst driving. It will also advise that as well as the fixed penalty and points, they might be required to attend a conduct hearing before a traffic commissioner. The letter will also warn that if this offence is repeated, they’ll automatically be referred to the traffic commissioner. The commissioner may then consider the driver’s suitability to continue to hold a vocational licence.
If the HGV or PSV driver commits a second offence, then they will get a second letter from DVLA telling them that they have automatically been reported to the traffic commissioner.
We hope that by sending these letters, we will help to teach drivers about the dangers and consequences of committing the same offence. If this helps to change their behaviour, reduce the number of further offences and stop further sanctions then it can only be a positive thing for UK road safety.