Mobile Phone Use While Driving
Tougher Penalties are being introduced in one US state, could the UK Follow in the Future?
Serial Offenders Facing Jail time
As reported in the Oregorian Newpaper:
Oregon is rolling out stiffer penalties on July 1 for drivers caught illegally using a cell phone, tablet or other device while driving.
Citations will now start adding up. Serial offenders may face fines upwards of $2,500 and as long as six months in jail.
Lawmakers addressed a glaring loophole in the state’s hands-free law. The original 2009 legislation required drivers use a hands-free device to make phone calls and banned texting while driving, but it appeared to allow drivers to play games, surf Facebook or use navigation software while cruising down state highways or city streets.
“Distracted driving is an epidemic in Oregon, and the consequences can be deadly,” Troy Costales, the state’s Transportation Safety Division administrator, said in a statement. “Everyone using the transportation system – drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians alike – should put away the distractions when traveling to help eliminate these tragedies.”
Distracted drivers already face serious fines for first and second offenses. A first-time offender can face a fine of up to $1,000 depending on the circumstances, with a minimum citation of $130 when nabbed using a cellphone behind the wheel. Second time offenses are bumped up to $220 minimum and a maximum of $2,000. If the first offense results in a crash, penalties will be treated like it’s a second incident.
Starting in July, three offenses in 10 years will result in a fine of up to $2,500 and a potential six-month jail stint.
Stronger Penalties as a Deterrent
The State of Oregon is clearly taking strong measures in an attempt to tackle what they call to be an epidemic of ‘distracted driving’.
British drivers have already seen stronger penalties introduced in 2017 when the penalty was increased from 3 points and a £100 fine to 6 penalty points and a £200 fine. Statistics reported by the Metro show that the numebr of Fixed Penalties has halved, however almost 40,000 fixed penalties were still issued between March and December in 2017.
We hear rumours that the penalty may be increased yet again, however it is unlikely that these would match Oregon’s penalties at this stage.
It is important to remember that many drivers how are accused of using their mobile phones/devices while driving are innocent, and you simply need to view our TrustPilot or Case Results to see that just because you have been accused does not mean that you need to accept the 6 points and fine being offered.
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If you, or someone you know, has been accused of using their mobile device while driving then please do not hesitate to contact us for advice. Call: 0800 048 8696