As part of the measures to toughen up the penalties for mobile phone use by drivers, the Government has announced that the offer of “education courses” to first time offenders will be stopped.
Just as with speeding offences, some police forces are offering waivers to drivers caught using a mobile phone if they attend a training course. In that way the driver avoids a fine and penalty points, and the police collect money from the course fee.
But the Government considers these offences so serious that they wish to increase the deterrent. In addition they are doubling the fines and doubling the penalty points.
Note that the Alliance of British Drivers (ABD) strongly supports tough penalties for this offence. The increasing number of distractive devices in cars is surely one of the causes of the “failed to notice” accidents that are one of the top factors in police reports of accidents. But everyone surely knows that using a hand-held mobile device is illegal so there is little excuse for this offence.
But do we not have a dual standard here when waivers for speeding are still a major money making industry? Surely they must be stopped also if speeding is so serious offence to warrant prosecution?