Gazette readers back mobile phones being taken from danger drivers
A call to confiscate mobile phones from people who use them while driving does not go far enough, say Gazette readers.
Pc Jayne Willetts, the Police Federation of England and Wales’s roads policing lead, says officers could seize mobiles or Sim cards as a deterrent to people using their phones while driving.
An AA poll in November found that two-thirds (65%) would support such a measure being introduced.
Some 44% even advocated officers smashing mobiles in front of offenders, with the same proportion in favour of the police sending a text to all contacts in a phone to spread news of what the driver has done.
Pc Willetts said: “As technology is rapidly progressing, I fear our legislation is already behind the times. Is the seizure of mobile phones or their Sim cards - along with an education system - the way forward, combined with fines? It’s a question worth asking.”
Gazette readers were quick to take to our Facebook page to answer that question.
Michael Wanless says phones should be confiscated adding: “A second offence should see the vehicle taken off then as well. Clearly people are not getting the message.”
Gary King added: “Seize the phone and the car for two weeks. If they get caught a second time, seize both again and sell both at an auction. Use the proceeds towards the running costs of the police force.”
Marion Nicholson wrote: “It’s frightening how many are using phones whilst driving.”
Gary ‘Gazza’ Knox is all for confiscating phones from the guilty.
He wrote: “Great idea. Then charge a release fee and a storage fee like when a car is impounded.”
The Government plan to doubling the penalty points to six and increase the fine to £200 for using a phone while driving later this year.
AA president Edmund King said: “Six points means that drivers within two years of passing their test will lose their licence and have to re-sit their test.
“One text and they will be out.”
Transport minister Andrew Jones told the Police Federation conference he wants to make using a phone behind the wheel “as socially unacceptable as drink-driving”.
More than 40 drivers were caught on their phones every hour during a police crackdown in November.
Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said that losing their smartphone could be “a bigger deal” than regular punishments for some drivers.
He went on: “With far too many people still flouting the law, maybe it will take something as blunt and brutal as ‘you use it, you lose it’ to get the message across.”