It seems less of us are now using our phones behind the wheel – finally!
Good news at last on the mobile phone front – it looks as though motorists are finally realising the dangers of using their devices whilst driving and the penalties involved if caught.
According to new figures released by 38 police forces in the UK, around 1,700 fewer motorists have been stopped for using a mobile phone whilst driving during the three months after the new penalties were introduced compared to the three months previous.
From March to May 2017, a total of 14,160 drivers were caught for using their mobile device whilst at the wheel. This figure stood at 15,861 in the months from December 2016 to February 2017.
Motorists caught for driving whilst using a mobile phone could now face a £200 fine and six points on their license.
The UK’s capital showed the biggest drop in drivers being caught – forty-one motorists were stopped after the new penalties came into effect compared to 124 during the months before, equating to a 67% drop.
Durham Police stopped 73 motorists compared to 149 – a drop of 51%, whilst Surrey Constabulary stopped 279, down from 564, a fall too of 51%.
In total, 25 police forces recorded a drop in the number of drivers being pulled up for the offence, however 11 did report a rise and two revealed no changes between the two time periods.
The RAC, who obtained the data, says that whilst the numbers suggest a drop in offenders it could simply be down to changes in enforcement activity.
Only a few months ago, the RAC in their annual Report on Motoring claimed that nine million drivers continued to use their handheld device whilst behind the wheel despite new tougher penalties.
“It is still much too early to tell if the stricter penalties that were introduced in the spring are changing drivers’ behaviour, but these figures perhaps give hope that at least some are starting to get the message that driving and using a handheld phone to talk, text or tweet don’t mix,” said RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams.
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