More than 200 drivers flout mobiles law in a fortnight

Scores of drivers are still using their mobiles behind the wheel, despite the launch of heavier penalties and high profile police warnings.

Saturday, 11th March 2017, 9:30 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:12 am
New figures suggest many drivers are still flouting the law against using a mobile while driving, despite the stiffer penalty.

“Disappointed” police say it’s clear some people are prepared to put others’ lives at risk.

No regional statistics are available, but police say over the two week campaign to highlight the new sanctions no less than 210 people were either given a spot-fine ticket or reported to the procurator fiscal.

Under the beefed-up laws the fine for using a mobile behind the wheel has been doubled to £200, and offenders also have three penalty points slapped on their licence.

Over the first five days of the new penalties being imposed 42 people were charged or reported.

Deputy head of road policing, Superintendent Fraser Candlish, said: “While it is clear that proportionately more people were caught in the ten days prior to the new penalties being introduced, this coincided with a period when there was a great deal of advertising and publicity highlighting the change.

“It is extremely disappointing that in the first five days of the new penalties being implemented, more than 40 drivers were still prepared to put the lives of both themselves and other road users at risk by using such devices while they were driving.

“There can be no excuse, as there was widespread public knowledge of the change.

“Road policing officers will continue to look out for anyone breaking the law, and my advice is to simply either switch off your phone entirely while driving, or only make or answer a call if you are parked. Remember, using such a device if you are stopped at lights, or stuck in traffic congestion, is still breaking the law and if you are seen doing it by police officers, you will be charged – so don’t risk it.”