The introduction of on the spot motoring fines announced today is a big step forward in road safety and reduction in accidents. Police can now issue on the spot fines of £100 for, amongst other things, the use of a mobile phone when driving and for not using a seatbelt.
Anyone who drives will have seen vehicles moving erratically and noticed on closer inspection that this is due to the driver being on the phone. There is a widespread disregard for the law on this point because so few people are prosecuted as a result of this offence – there appear to be insufficient deterrents. However, stories of tragic accidents and fatalities arising from a moment’s inattention when using a mobile phone are too frequent. This is therefore a big step forward in the deterrent stakes as people will now be aware that police will be looking out for this and able to enforce immediate sanctions.
The question remains whether this is enough of a restraint given that the fine is £100 and it is still heavily dependent on how vigilant the police are on this issue.