Accident claim news 20/02/2007
Roads to see fewer mobiles
February 27th 2007 sees the introduction of new, stricter laws concerning the use of mobile phones while driving.
Anybody caught using a handheld device on or after this date will automatically receive three penalty points and a fine of £60, meaning that persistent offenders will quickly be banned from the road.
The tighter laws are being implemented following pressure from road safety groups who believe that the current police powers do not go far enough to stop people risking car accidents and potential road accident claims by using their phones.
At present, anybody pulled over for using their mobile is given an on-the-spot penalty of £30 but their licence is not endorsed with points.
Despite numerous media campaigns persuading drivers to refrain from using their phones, millions of people every day are still flouting the law and calling and even texting whilst behind the wheel.
Because of this, hundreds of lives throughout the UK have been lost in car crashes caused by drivers who haven't been concentrating on the road ahead. In addition, thousands of road accident claims for personal injury compensation have also been made by innocent road users who have found themselves involved in a smash with a mobile phone user.
It is for this reason that the Government has finally decided to clamp down on those who use a mobile while travelling on Britain's roads and so have given police officers new powers to deal with offenders.
Transport Secretary Douglas Alexander spoke to the BBC about the new laws and said, "Research shows that talking on a mobile phone while driving affects your concentration and ability to react to dangerous situations.
"It's quite simple - it's impossible to do two things at once and do them well.
"That is why in December 2003 we introduced new laws preventing motorists from driving while using a hand-held mobile.
"We have seen a groundswell of support for this move. But worryingly, while 92% of people agree with the law, 21% of drivers admit to breaking it."
It is hoped that the new law will make this 21% change their ways, the result of which should be fewer car crashes and road accident claims.
The Claim Solicitors, the personal injury compensation claim experts who specialise in making no win no fee road accident claims, went out on to the streets to find out what the average Brit thinks of the tighter laws to be introduced on February 27th.
"I think it's about time they clamped down properly on offenders," said 59-year-old Derek Simpson.
"It's crazy to use a phone when you're driving and I don't think these new laws go far enough. They should lock them up and throw away the key."
24-year-old Narinder Kaur took a slightly less extreme point of view but still welcomed the new laws, saying, "Every time I'm out on the road I'll see someone using their phone in their car so I'm glad the Government are making an effort to stop it."
Narinder's viewpoint was echoed by the majority of people questioned and there was only one individual who was opposed to the implementation of the new mobile phone laws.
A spokesman from The Claim Solicitors commented on the issue and said, "Although I'm sure the introduction of these stricter laws will cut the number of road accident claims that we deal with, it's about time something was done to make the UK's roads safer for everyone.
"People have to realise that using a mobile phone whilst driving is dicing with death and if they saw the tragic car accidents that we deal with on a daily basis then there's no doubt that they would put their phones away for good."