DRIVERS have been warned that if they caught using their mobile phones they face six points and a £200 fine under new penalties that comes into force today.
The new penalties, announced by the Department for Transport, also mean that anyone who is caught on their phone within the first two years of driving could have their licence revoked.
Across the UK, police forces are co-ordinating week-long enforcement operations and raising awareness of the new penalties for mobile phone use behind the wheel.
North Wales Police said today that it will be actively taking part with officers from the Roads Policing Unit carrying out dedicated patrols using marked and unmarked vehicles to target those flouting the law.
Inspector Dave Cust, from the Roads Policing Unit, said: “Using a mobile phone behind the wheel remains a serious concern to police.
“Along with drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving carelessly, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, whether it be texting, using an app, or making a phone call is classed as one of the ‘Fatal 5’; the 5 most common causes of fatal road traffic collisions.
“These new penalties reflect the seriousness of the offence and will strengthen the deterrent against using a mobile phone behind the wheel, however, we need people to understand that this is not a minor offence that they can get away with.
"We’d also like to emphasize that if you are a new driver, and you do receive 6 points within the first two years of passing your test, then your licence would be revoked by the DVLA.
“We will continue to work with our road safety partners to make it socially unacceptable to use a mobile phone behind the wheel. It’s not just about the penalties doubling either – we also need to remind people that they risk hurting or killing an innocent person on the roads by either checking that text, uploading onto social media or taking that call. Don’t do it – and don’t let others take the risk either.”
Between January 1 and December 31, 2016, North Wales Police issued 924 TORs (Traffic Offence Reports) to drivers who were caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel. During the same period, Go Safe also issued 81 NIPs (Notice of Intended Prosecutions) to those caught using their phones while driving.