Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

25% More Drivers Fined for Using Mobile at Wheel

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

25% More Drivers Fined for Using Mobile at Wheel

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN BENTHAM

THE number of London drivers fined for using a mobile phone behind thewheel has shot up by more than 25 per cent, official figures revealed today.

Ministry of Justice statistics show 22,640 were caught in 2006, compared withjust over 18,000 the year before.

London drivers accounted for around one in eight of the 164,900 offencesnationwide.

Sir Ken Macdonald, the Director of Public Prosecutions, warned recently thatpunishment for the offence may be stiffened again.

After the original [pounds sterling]30 fine, introduced in 2003, proved to be an inadequatedeterrent, the penalty was increased to [pounds sterling]60 and three points on the driver'slicence.

Today's figures cover a period before the harsher punishments were introduced.They show a 30 per cent rise nationwide in the number of offences.

Some of this increase is likely to be the result of more vigorous enforcementby police and the greater use of camera evidence. …

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