Double penalties for driving calls
MOTORISTS caught using mobile phones while driving now face double the penalty.
From today (March 1) police will be able to slap drivers caught using their phones with a £200 fine and six points on their licence – the previous penalty was three points and a £100 fine.
The new legislation also means offending drivers will no longer be offered a training course named the National Driver Offender Retraining Scheme (NDORS) as an alternative to receiving points.
And the biggest impact will be for new motorists, as young drivers and those who have passed their tests within the past two years could have their licence revoked after their first offence.
Inspector Steve Griffiths, from Cheshire’s Roads Policing Team, said: “As a senior investigator, I have dealt with many serious and fatal collisions, and in recent years I’ve found that increasingly more of these incidents have involved mobile phones. Motorists are four times more likely to crash if using a mobile phone while driving. Using a handheld mobile device can make drivers less aware of what is happening on the road – they could fail to see road signs, react more slowly and take longer to brake.
“It is vital that we educate motorists on the dangers of driving while using a handheld mobile device, and the impact this new legislation will have on those who continue to flout the law.”
Officers caught more than 100 people using their mobile phones illegally during a week-long operation of increased patrols to catch offenders.
Drivers were issued with a penalty notice and officers took the opportunity to educate motorists of the dangers of using a handheld mobile device while driving and the consequences they will face.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane said: “I’m sure the public will be reassured to see the work the roads policing team have been doing.
“Driving while using a handheld mobile device is dangerous and the fact that officers stopped over 100 drivers during the campaign shows that we continue to have an issue.
“From March those who break the law will face severe penalties and the constabulary will have my full support as they work to enforce the new legislation and keep us safe. My message is clear – driving while distracted should be as socially unacceptable as drink or drug driving.”
PAUL Anthony Oldham, 32, of Berwick Close, Macclesfield, admitted failing to attend unpaid work sessions. He was fined £40.
JOHN Michael Hoban, 41, of High Street, Macclesfield, admitted breaching a restraining order, assaulting a police constable, possession of cocaine and possession of a razor blade in public. He was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months. He was also fined £100.
SEAN David Andrew Roberts, 40, of no fixed abode, breaching a criminal behaviour order by entering Macclesfield town centre. He was jailed for two weeks.
CHRISTOPHER Anthony Bailey, 30, of Range Court, Macclesfield, denied assault. He was bailed for the trial on May 19.
JAMES Michael Rollinson, 23, of Cherryfields Road, Macclesfield, admitted three charges of assault. He was sentenced to 17 weeks in prison suspended for 12 months. He must also do 100 hours unpaid work and 15 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. He must also pay compensation of £300.
IOAN Mustata, 37, of Hedingham Close, Macclesfield, admitted drink driving. He was fined £500 and banned for 16 months.
ROBERT Charles Young, 29, of Thirlmere, Macclesfield, admitted criminal damage and breaching a restraining order. He was given 15 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement, fined £600 and ordered to pay £1,254.36 compensation. He was also given a restraining order for three years.
Motorists caught using mobile phones while driving will soon be hit by double penalties (picture posed by model)