Handheld device offence changes

Drivers caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel in Essex will no longer be offered educational courses instead of penalty points.

handheld-offence

As of 9th November 2016 drivers detected committing the offence for the first time will automatically receive three penalty points on their driving licence and a £100 fine. Essex Police has made the decision to stop offering driver awareness courses following a proposal by the Department for Transport to scrap them in an effort to change driver behaviour.

Under the changes, offenders will no longer be offered the course and will automatically receive the fine and points. In 2017, the punishment will be doubled to six penalty points and a £200 fine and HGV’s will be treated the same as a car for the offence.

The changes follow a national consultation by the Department for Transport and the imprisonment of a lorry driver last week convicted of causing the deaths of a mother and three children in a crash on the A34 in Berkshire, please refer to our earlier articles ‘Kill That Call’ and ‘No Excuse – Time to Think’. Adam Pipe, Casualty Reduction Manager at Essex Police, said: “We welcome the changes proposed by the Department for Transport and the results of the consultation which recognise the need to change driver behaviour.

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