Increased car insurance premiums and maybe a stint in jail: just some of the prices to pay for using your phone whilst driving. Friday 27th February marked the second anniversary of the move to punish drivers who use their mobile phones by adding three points to their licence. However, the AA has recently stated that we will soon see far more punishments – which are also likely to be more severe, and not just at the hands of the law.
According to a report at thepress.co.uk, “The AA calculates that, if there are ten million cars on the road at any time during the day, and the Government says one per cent of drivers are at the wheel holding a phone, one hundred thousand drivers are breaking the law at that moment.”
This comes as a Labour peer, Lord Nazeer Ahmed is sentenced for 12 weeks in prison after admitting to sending a text message on his mobile phone, and consequently being found guilty for dangerous driving. After using his phone, Ahmed was involved in a crash that killed a 28 year old man. Yet despite his punishment, that includes a one-year driving ban and £500 in costs, it was also acknowledged by the court that the use of the phone ‘had no causal link to the accident.’
With the increase in mobile phone use, it has now become routine for police to check mobile records soon after an accident, in order to ascertain whether calls or texts have been made around the time of the crash. This seems to be an aspect that is not considered by a typical driver. Similarly, large careless driving punishments have also been given to drivers who have crashed whilst using hands free mobile technology.
In another burst of AA research, the institution has also found that despite the exact punishment that individuals have received for driving and using a mobile phone, they now have to pay high car insurance premiums. According to the AA at financemarkets.co.uk, ‘the average premium increase is around four-times the cost of the standard fine.’ Whilst drivers who are found, more specifically, to have been driving dangerously due to mobile phone use are said to be finding it difficult to find any cover at all, after being allowed back on the road. It seems that insurance companies are increasingly taking such offences so seriously, that they are unwilling to take the risk with drivers who behave so recklessly.