Before March 2017, you would have been given £100 fine if you were caught using your phone behind the wheel. After the 1st of March, the penalty doubled, and if you had held your licence for less than 2 years, but were caught using your phone whilst driving, you were waving goodbye to your licence! The points on your licence doubled, too – you’ll now get 6 points! So, it’s clear there is no point in using your phone whilst driving – but have these changes helped in preventing road accidents that are caused by people using their phone behind the wheel?
According to the RAC, 23% of motorists have admitted to using a handheld phone whilst being behind the wheel, to make or take a call. 18% of them admitted to using their phone to checking texts, emails and social media!
One year on
More than 26,000 drivers have been caught using a mobile whilst driving in the last year AFTER the new, harsher penalties came into force. Out of those, 500 were new drivers, who had held their licence for less than 2 years. Needless to say, they had their licence revoked. Make sure you’re not one of them – and put your phone away when you’re driving!
One year on, and THINK! are continuing their ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using your phone whilst driving. The campaign appears on radio, social media, and on-demand video – as well as in shopping centres! This has meant that 9 out of 10 people are aware of the new penalties! What’s more – 29 million people have seen the adverts, and 12 million people have seen the social media content.
Here, THINK! has created their latest campaign. It shows how much you miss, whilst looking at your phone.
How much do you know?
Last year when the change came into place, 47% of drivers under the age of 25 were not aware of the dramatic chance, compared to the 38% of drivers over the age of 25 – who knew. In a recent Twitter poll, we asked if young drivers were aware of the consequences if they are caught using their phones whilst driving. Out of 458 votes, 35% of people think they know everything there is to know about the law change, and 31% were pretty sure they did too, great! However, 11% of people were not aware that there were any changes made to the law, and shockingly – 23% of people didn’t know they were not allowed to use their phone behind the wheel. It’s great to see that over half of those who took part, knew the consequences, however, it seems more can be done to spread the word!
What else can we do?
The law change that is cracking down on mobile phone use whilst driving, is a change within the right direction, however, even with these law changes, a further 1,997 motorists were handed fines and licence points between 22nd and 28th of January 2018 alone! You can head over to be phone smart, to make your promise to not use your phone behind the wheel. Share this with friends and family, and make your pledge to make our roads safer for everyone.
Apps to help
Your phone is distracting, but luckily there are Apps that can help with this! If you’re an Android user, you can download apps that will detect when you are driving, and let people who try to contact you know that you’re behind the wheel! Apps such as Agent will even read out the message for you.
iPhone recently updating its operating system, too! Users can switch to a Do Not Disturb Whilst Driving function before setting off. This stops notifications and will let those who contact you know that you’ll reply to them later.
An app for Apple and Android is Waze – a crowdsourced app that allows you to share your journey with someone else before you set off! They won’t need to message/call and ask where you are because the app will let them know!