One in three drivers want police to confiscate mobile phones from people who use them illegally behind the wheel

5 April 2024, 11:00

Some drivers are calling for even tougher penalties for people who use their phones while driving
Some drivers are calling for even tougher penalties for people who use their phones while driving. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

More than a third of drivers want police to confiscate phones from people caught using them behind the wheel, according to a survey.

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Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart polled its members and found drivers want tough penalties for people who illegally use their phones.

A third said they would support the idea of police confiscating the phones. More than a quarter said people should have to then pay to get them back from police.

The group of motorists surveyed said these penalties should be on top of the existing £200 fine and six penalty points.

Nicholas Lyes, the director of policy at IAM RoadSmart said: “Using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel is illegal and dangerous, and many drivers want police forces to prioritise enforcement against these offenders.

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“Moreover, the idea of confiscation of phones and paying an additional fine for its return has the backing of a surprisingly sizeable number of drivers.

“While we are never going to see a cop on every corner, camera technology is already being trialled in some parts of the country and could be rolled out nationally, subject to Home Office type approval and the final trial findings.

“The Government should review the fine level alongside type-approving new camera technology to improve detection. These actions should be supported by a renewed high-profile education campaign highlighting the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving and consider the merits of offering more training courses.

“We also think social media companies have a responsibility to review policies and remove content as soon as possible when drivers post videos of themselves breaking the law. Ultimately, we need to break the cycle of phone addiction once drivers get behind the wheel, as it is a serious distraction that can have tragic results.”

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