New government regulations are expected to come into force next year which will mean drivers caught texting at the wheel will face much tougher consequences. If caught, they will receive six points on their licence and face a £200 fine. Also, young or newly qualified drivers will be made to retake their test if they’re caught within two years of gaining their full licence.
These new rules will be enforced in England, Scotland and Wales and could also result in drivers who offend twice going to court, facing possible fines of up to £1,000 and a six-month driving ban. If prosecuted for careless driving or dangerous driving even higher penalties apply; death by dangerous driving carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.
This proposed bill has the potential to significantly improve dangerous driving habits. According to Allianz Centre for Technology (part of Allianz Insurance), 78% of crashes involve the person behind the wheel being preoccupied with other activities. Texting is a common cause for this preoccupation, having a significant impact on reaction times. According to the RAC, reaction times are 35% slower if texting whilst driving.