Don’t get caught this Christmas with an unexpected present in the form of points on your licence. A recent Transport Research Laboratory study shows that more people are continuing to use hand held mobile phones, despite the fixed penalty having increased a few years ago from £30 to £60. It seems that the temptation to take that call is just too great! Yet how many stop to think as to what could be the consequences?
If you are stopped and offered a fixed penalty then the penalty notice is for three points and a £60 fine; three points that you could do without. If the matter is heard at court then the fine could be up to £1000 or up to £2500 for a professional driver, together with the three points and payment of legal costs. Should the use of the phone be the cause of an accident, then you could be facing a careless driving offence or in the worst case scenario, death by careless or dangerous driving.
The offence is one of “using” a hand held device and although it could be argued that for there to be “use” there has to be some form of interaction in the form of receiving or making calls or texts, it is safest to put the phone well out of reach when you are driving or better still, switch it off.
Professional drivers cannot afford to risk both their driving licence and their vocational licence. If the Traffic Commissioner is aware that a professional driver has been caught using a hand held mobile phone then he will be called to a conduct hearing to explain why there should not be immediate suspension of his vocational entitlement.
If you need help either with representation before the court or before the Traffic Commissioner, then call me to discuss the details of your case on 01756 790631.