As anticipated, the Department for Transport has announced (26th January) proposed changes to penalties for mobile phone offences.
In summary, the proposals are:
- to increase the fixed penalty level from £100 to £150 where a fixed penalty is offered.
- to increase the penalty from THREE to SIX penalty points where an offence is committed by LGV drivers when driving LGVs, i.e. vehicles with a gross combination mass exceeding 3.5 tonnes (for the purpose of the consultation, this includes drivers of large PCVs capable of carrying 16 or more passengers).
- to increase the penalty from THREE to FOUR penalty points where an offence is committed by non-LGV drivers.
There will be a range of views as to whether the changes are far-reaching enough. Should there be any distinction in penalty linked to vehicle size or capcity? Should drivers of small commercial vehicles be treated identically to larger commercial vehicles? And should drivers of vehicles capable of carrying more than eight passengers be treated the same as drivers of larger PCVs?
The consultation setting out the detailed proposals runs until 15 March 2016.
For further information or advice, please contact a member of our Road Transport team.