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Drivers using hands-free phones could face £1,000 fine

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Drivers caught using hands-free mobile phones could face a fine of £1,000, under new proposals from a group of MPs.

The Transport Committee is calling on the government to extend the ban on hand-held devices, which has been in place since 2003, to hands-free phones.

Under current law, drivers caught using a phone at the wheel face up to six penalty points and a fine of up to a £1,000.

Chair of the Committee, Lilian Greenwood, said: “There is a misleading impression that hands-free use is safe.

“The reality is that any use of a phone distracts from a driver’s ability to pay full attention.”

The MPs also want the government to extend the current laws on hand-held mobiles to cover drivers sending or receiving data.

They also want penalties to be reviewed and potentially increased.

Greenwood said: “If mobile phone use while driving is to become as socially unacceptable as drink driving much more effort needs to go into educating drivers about the risks and consequences of using a phone behind the wheel.

“Offenders also need to know there is a credible risk of being caught, and that there are serious consequences for being caught.”

In 2017, there were 773 casualties, including 43 deaths and 135 serious injuries, in collisions where a driver using a mobile phone was a contributory factor. The number of people killed or seriously injured has risen steadily since 2011.

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