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The government is looking at increasing both fines and penalty points for drivers caught using their mobile phones while on the roads. The most severe penalties will be for professional drivers operating large, commercial vehicles such as trucks and buses. The pending action is yet another reason corporate driver training needs to address mobile phone issues.

As reported by the BBC on 20 December (2015), the government is planning on increasing fines and penalties for mobile phone use following a consultation set to take place early in 2016. Current fines, now set at £100 per offence, will increase to £150. Category B licence holders will see penalty points rise from 3 to 4 while Category C and D licence holders will see penalties points go from 3 to 6.

Officials told the BBC that the main targets of the new rules are repeat offenders. First-time offenders will still be given the opportunity to undergo an educational programme rather than facing stiffer fines and penalties. It is assumed that repeat offenders would be shown no mercy – nor should they be.

Officials also explained the reasoning behind the higher penalty points for HGV and PCV drivers. Simply put, large commercial vehicles do a lot more damage, even in minor crashes. Far too often cyclists and car drivers are seriously injured or killed while a commercial vehicle driver walks away unscathed. Those who drive such vehicles have a greater responsibility to road safety because of the damage they can inflict.

How Corporate Driver Training Can Help

As a leading provider of training in the UK, we know how valuable regular corporate driver training can be. Providing company drivers with continual remedial training on a periodic basis helps to remind them of their social responsibilities and obligations under the law. Regular remedial training can be a big help in reducing mobile phone use while driving.

It is our experience that it is easy to forget things or otherwise drive carelessly when drivers go for long periods without training. It is the old ‘out of sight, out of mind’ problem. Regular training that keeps things at the forefront of drivers’ minds increases compliance by continually putting important concepts in front of them. You cannot remind the driver too many times to not use his or her mobile phone while driving.

There is no telling whether or not increased fines and penalty points will reduce the number of repeat offenders using mobile phones while driving. We would prefer our clients not have to find out from personal experience. It is far better to practice self-discipline and not use a mobile phone while driving than to test the system and find out you have lost.

For more information about our corporate driver training programme, feel free to contact us at any time. The HGV Training Centre can custom design a corporate training programme for your company that includes ample training of mobile phone use. We also offer Driver CPC training as well.

Sources:

  1. BBC – https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35141387

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