One of South Essex’s leading road traffic solicitors has warned drivers that, with stiff penalties now in place for using phones while driving, one offence can easily lead to a driving disqualification where drivers have recently passed their test or have points on their licence.
Jeremy Sirrell, a Partner at Palmers Solicitors, issued the warning after new rules came into effect earlier this year which see the penalty for using a phone whilst driving increase from three points and a £100 fine to six points and a £200 fine.
Drivers who receive 12 or more points on their licence in the space of three years will face magistrates, where they are usually fined and banned from driving, unless mitigating circumstances exist.
For drivers who have held a licence for less than two years, the penalties are even more severe, with one offence potentially leading to a ban.
Jeremy Sirrell said: “Clearly, it is dangerous to use a mobile phone while driving and the consequences of doing so can be devastating.
“The police are also ramping up their efforts to enforce the law. As a consequence, a driver caught checking their messages while sitting in traffic on more than one occasion could easily find themselves losing their licence.
“The Courts do have the discretion to take into account mitigating circumstances and so anyone facing possible disqualification should seek specialist legal advice.”
Jeremy Sirrell advises that drivers needing to use their phones should pull over in a safe place, apply the handbrake and turn off the engine before doing so.