According to police chief constable, Suzette Davenport, any increase in punishment for being caught driving and using a mobile phone “would not be popular” by the voters in the upcoming May elections and as such feels that the government is keen to avoid any increase in penalties.
Ms Davenport feels that mobiles-at-wheel laws are very important and those who use the mobile phone in such a way pose a significant risk and thus should face more serious consequences.
Ms Davenport said, “My view is that if someone is caught twice using a mobile phone within a period of time we should be considering actions such as disqualifications for short periods of time”. She added, “I believe if we don’t do something fundamentally different, we are going to lose”.
In response to this, Roads minister, Robert Goodwill said, “I’ve certainly not been in presentations from colleagues saying, ‘Don’t do this, because of the election’. However I may have had other colleagues saying, ‘Don’t do this, because we need to think about the actual number of people we will catch’.
He added, “And I think it’s important that Police and Crime Commissioners and Chief Constables look at the resources they put into this, as appose to other more easy to detect crimes like speeding”.
According to recent research by the Department for Transport, those people with a phone in their hands, whilst driving, are more likely to be on social media apps and sending messages than making calls.
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