Should police be allowed to grab telephones from drivers who use them?

  • Poll of two,500 UK drivers finds a 3rd need cell phone punishments elevated
  • 34% say police ought to seize gadgets – then make offenders pay to get them again

Drivers caught illegally utilizing a cell phone ought to have their gadgets confiscated – after which be pressured to pay a cost to get them again from the police.

That’s the opinion of 1 in three motorists polled in a brand new examine who stated they’d assist officers seizing telephones from offenders as a part of a crackdown on drivers dangerously texting and utilizing them whereas on the transfer.

In 2017, the penalty for utilizing a handheld machine whereas driving was elevated to £200 and 6 factors (from £100 and three factors) – although that is nonetheless not proving a deterrent for hundreds of highway customers.

Home Office information exhibits that 37,900 drivers in England had been issued both a hard and fast penalty discover (FPN), retraining course, or court docket motion for unlawful cellphone use in 2022 – and that is merely these caught within the act by police.

Are penalties for using a phone behind the wheel tough enough? A new study has revealed that a third of motorists would back the idea of the police confiscating devices from offenders

Are penalties for utilizing a cellphone behind the wheel powerful sufficient? A brand new examine has revealed {that a} third of motorists would again the concept of the police confiscating gadgets from offenders

The new analysis, carried out by highway security charity IAM RoadSmart, polled 2,437 of its members.

It discovered that 34 per cent backed the concept of police confiscating cell phones for a brief interval, with 27 per cent believing offenders ought to pay to get their cellphone again – much like when a car is impounded for not being taxed.

This can be a further punishment to the present £200 effective and six-point endorsement.

An additional 7 per cent assist confiscation however don’t assume offenders ought to pay to get their cellphone again. A small majority (56 per cent) had been unconvinced that taking a cellphone was acceptable.

A third of drivers polled by IAM RoadSmart backed the idea of police seizing phones from offenders for a short period, with 27% believing they should pay to get their phone back

A 3rd of drivers polled by IAM RoadSmart backed the concept of police seizing telephones from offenders for a brief interval, with 27% believing they need to pay to get their cellphone again

The highway security group was compelled to query whether or not the present penalties are a robust sufficient incentive for drivers to not deal with gadgets when behind the wheel.

Data obtained by IAM RoadSmart by way of a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to the DVLA exhibits that 34,738 drivers had been issued with a ‘CU80’ endorsement on their licence in 2022 for illegally utilizing a cell phone on the wheel. 

Worryingly, the identical figures illustrate drivers aged between 17 and 24 made up a tenth of these receiving endorsements, regardless of this age demographic representing simply 7 per cent of all licence holders.

Year Number of drivers given CU80 (6 factors on licence) Number of drivers aged 17-24 given CU80 (6 factors on licence) Proportion (aged 17-24) YoY change – all drivers
2022 34,738 3,623 10.4% 75%
2023 (as much as 25 Nov) 24,830 2,348 9.5% -29%
Source: IAM RoadSmart. Data obtained from DVLA following FOI request 
Home Office data shows that 37,900 drivers in England were issued either a fixed penalty notice (FPN), retraining course, or court action for illegal phone use in 2022 - and this is merely the number caught by police

Home Office information exhibits that 37,900 drivers in England had been issued both a hard and fast penalty discover (FPN), retraining course, or court docket motion for unlawful cellphone use in 2022 – and that is merely the quantity caught by police

The highway security charity requested its members in the event that they really feel the present punishment for driving on the cellphone is adequate with half (51 per cent) saying it’s ‘about proper’, whereas 42 per cent consider it’s too lenient. 

A meagre 4 per cent stated the present penalty is simply too harsh. 

The figures are printed alongside a separate survey for IAM RoadSmart (members and non-members) displaying nearly two-thirds (62 per cent) of motorists consider that driver distraction – equivalent to speaking and texting on the wheel – is an even bigger downside immediately than it was three-years in the past. 

A big majority of drivers (80 per cent) think about others’ unlawful cellphone use as a risk to their very own private security, with 1 / 4 (24 per cent) now believing it to be a top-three precedence for roads policing.

In March 2022, the Government closed a phone-related loophole which had beforehand allowed some drivers to flee punishment for utilizing gadgets whereas in command of a automobile. 

Several high-profile instances had seen motorists having convictions overturned on authorized technicalities, equivalent to taking footage or enjoying video games on their telephones deemed to not be ‘interactive communication’ and subsequently not punishable.

Since ministers modified the foundations, it’s unlawful to deal with a tool whereas driving for nearly any motive, apart from to name the emergency companies when there’s not an acceptable place to drag over or to make tap-and-pay funds at a toll or restaurant drive-thru. 

And extra just lately, police forces have trialled new AI digital camera know-how that may detect cellphone use on the wheel.

On the hunt: This is the National Highways camera van that's been used in trials to detect motoring offences such as holding a mobile phone at the wheel or not wearing a seatbelt. In the first 64 hours of its use, it caught 664 drivers - one every six minutes

On the hunt: This is the National Highways digital camera van that is been utilized in trials to detect motoring offences equivalent to holding a cell phone on the wheel or not sporting a seatbelt. In the primary 64 hours of its use, it caught 664 drivers – one each six minutes

The hi-tech van has a metal structure with cameras and artificial intelligence attached to it that can identify motorists potentially breaking the law. It has been trialled across various locations in England over the last two years

The hi-tech van has a metallic construction with cameras and synthetic intelligence connected to it that may establish motorists doubtlessly breaking the regulation. It has been trialled throughout varied areas in England during the last two years 

IAM RoadSmart’s director of coverage and requirements Nicholas Lyes stated: ‘Using a handheld cell phone on the wheel is against the law and harmful and plenty of drivers need police forces to prioritise enforcement in opposition to these offenders. 

‘Moreover, the concept of confiscation of telephones and paying a further effective for its return has the backing of a surprisingly sizeable variety of drivers.

‘While we’re by no means going to see a cop on each nook, digital camera know-how is already being trialled in some elements of the nation and might be rolled out nationally topic to Home Office sort approval and the ultimate trial findings.

‘We have seen the tragic penalties of drivers utilizing their telephones on the wheel in high-profile instances equivalent to that on the M66 the place a younger driver filmed himself travelling at catastrophic speeds ensuing within the loss of life of Frankie Jules-Hough and her unborn baby.’

The highway security group says the Government must evaluate the effective stage alongside type-approving new digital camera know-how to enhance detection. 

It additionally urged social media corporations to evaluate their very own insurance policies and take away content material as quickly as potential when drivers publish movies of themselves breaking the regulation.

‘Ultimately, we have to break the cycle of cellphone addition as soon as drivers get behind the wheel as it’s a severe distraction that may have tragic outcomes,’ Lyes added.