Recent figures have shown that in the UK motorists are being fined every 180 seconds for the offence of using a mobile phone while driving. These figures have been put together by the car insurance company Swiftcover.com and it showed that between 2010 and 2011 over 170,000 drivers were given fixed penalty notices by the police. This is twice as many tickets that were given six years earlier, which was a year after the ban was first introduced.
The insurance companies managed to compile these figures through Freedom of Information requests from over 40 police forces in England and Wales. Despite the seemingly high number of people being caught in the act, the figures actually suggest that only three in every 100 drivers who commit the offence are actually being caught.
Other information that the insurance company gathered showed that one in every 10 drivers aged under 34 had logged onto a social network while driving. The chief claims officer at the insurance company is Robin Reames who said, “It is a minority of people who are endangering other drivers and these people are being completely irresponsible.”
Mike Penning is the Road Safety Minister and he said that tackling this problem is a top priority for the government and therefore they have decided to increase the penalty notice by £20, to £100, as of next year.
Mr Penning further urged people to use a hands-free kit if they are in the car and reminded employers that it is a criminal offence to insist that employees answer their phone while they are driving. He also urged motorists to only answer calls, even with a hands-free device, when absolutely necessary.