The number of new drivers banned for mobile phone use has sky-rocketed in the last year, after new laws were introduced in March 2017.
A Freedom of Information request has revealed that close to 11,000 new drivers lost their licence in 2017 – and the number of new drivers who lost their licence for using a mobile phone at the wheel rocketed by 356 per cent in 2017. Following new laws introduced in March 2017 which saw drivers handed six penalty points and a £200 fine for using their phone while driving, some 533 new drivers lost their licence for breaching the rule – up from 117 the year before.
New motorists banned for driving without due care and attention – another charge used by police for mobile phone use at the wheel – was also up to 447 in 2017, compared with 401 the previous year.
AA president Edmund King said: “Part of the rise in new drivers losing their licences is due to the one-strike-and-you’re-out increase to six penalty points for using a phone at the wheel that came in last March. We know from our own research that young drivers in particular say they can’t bring themselves to turn their mobile phones off before driving. This dangerous attitude is starting to catch up with them as they can’t bear to be away from their phones while they drive.”
The figures were released by the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency following a Freedom of Information investigation by the Press Association. They show a total of 10,833 new drivers lost their licence in 2017.
A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman said: “The evidence shows that young drivers present the greatest risk to themselves and others. We continue to enforce the law with full use of all the approved methods of prosecution available to us. Our message is clear: Keep to the law or risk losing your licence.”