Texting or using your mobile phones while driving is already an offence in the UK but several motorists continue to break the rule. To stop this risky practice Prime Minister Theresa May's government has decided to double the penalties for motorists — and that means potential bans and fines of up to £1,000 ($1,300).
"Your actions could kill and cause untold misery to others," Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said in a statement. "We all have a part to play in ensuring our family and friends do not use their phones while driving. I will be announcing a tougher new penalty regime shortly," he said.
Under new rules expected to come in by early next year, drivers who text or use their phones will get six points on their licence and face a £200 fine on the spot. Newly qualified drivers, who have a ceiling of six points for their first two years on the road, could immediately lose their licence and be made to retake their test.
Experienced drivers who break the law twice could face possible fines of up to £1,000 and at least a six-month driving ban.
Earlier this week a study by motoring charity RAC revealed that the number of people who use mobile phones while driving in Britain has quadrupled over the last two years because they have no fear of being caught. RAC says substantial cuts to the traffic police force allow these drivers slip away easily. Government figures show that use of the mobile phone while driving was a major contributory factor in 492 accidents in Britain in 2014, of which 21 were fatal and 84 classed as serious.