Government gets tougher on road safety

We have all noticed that the Government are clamping down on people who contravene our road traffic laws. Many people have found themselves in Court as prosecutions of road traffic offences increase. Some have lost their driving licences through endorsement of penalty points. From the 27th February 2007, it will also become possible to get penalty points for the use of a hand-held mobile phone while driving.

Under the new legislation, fines for the use of a 'hand-held' mobile phone whilst driving will double from £30 to £60. It will also become possible for offenders to be prosecuted in the Magistrates Court leading to a minimum punishment of 3 penalty points and the potential of being disqualified for the offence.

The legislation applies to anyone using a hand-held device whilst driving, i.e something that is held during the course of making or receiving a call or any other interactive communication. Hand-free phones are not affected - pushing buttons while the phone is in the cradle is not a contravention of the legislation.

Andrew Cave of hc solicitors LLP, specialist in Traffic Law, commented:

"New legislation usually results in increase vigilance and I anticipate that anyone using a hand-held phone whilst driving will be prosecuted and will receive both financial penalties and penalty points. In particular, the Magistrates are likely to consider disqualifying those who have used a phone whilst driving a goods vehicle due to the greater risk that these vehicles pose to others. However, the right legal representation can make a significant difference in the outcome of road traffic cases. Disqualification on reaching 12 points is not automatic and can be defended by our legal team. I recommend that anyone facing with prosecution on a road traffic offence seeks legal representation to ensure the best possible outcome at trial".

Profile of Andrew Cave

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This article has been prepared for general interest and information purposes only; it does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. While all possible care has been taken in the preparation of this article, no responsibility for the accuracy and/or correctness of the information and commentary set out in the article, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed or accepted by the firm or the authors.