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Motorists unaware of law changes this week for driving using a mobile 

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Two fifths of drivers aren’t aware of tougher penalties coming into force this week for driving using a mobile phone.

From Wednesday (1 March), drivers caught using their phone will receive six penalty points and a £200 fine rather than the previous three penalty points and £100 fine.

However, over half of drivers (54%) surveyed by the Co-op don’t believe the change will be enough to deter motorists from using their phones illegally.

Of those who don’t believe the increases go far enough, 79% think further increases to both penalty points and fines are necessary to make a positive change in driver behaviour.

Over two thirds (67%) believe offenders should be banned from driving for using their phones.

Some 13% think the fine needs to be increased, with 27% believing it should be £,1000 or more. Seven per cent think the number of penalty points needs to be increased.

More positively, a quarter believe their driving habits will change for the better as a result of the law change with it deterring them from using their phones.

Over a quarter of drivers questioned still admit to using their mobile phone behind the wheel. The main use is to make or receive calls and to use their device as a sat nav to search for a destination when they are lost.

James Hillon, head of products at Co-op Insurance, said: “Whilst is can be tempting to take that call or check that text, using a mobile phone whilst driving is dangerous and can seriously impact a motorist’s ability to drive safely, which is why it is illegal.”

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