Drivers using mobile phones targeted in crackdown

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Drivers caught using a mobile phone while at the wheel could face increased fines of £200, under new government plans to tackle dangerous driving.

The new on-the-spot fine would represent a second penalty increase for using a mobile while driving. In 2013 the fine was increased from £60 to £100. Offenders are also hit with three penalty points.

The move comes as Department for Transport figures reveal that around 500,000 drivers are still putting lives at risk every day, by flouting mobile phone rules.

A government source told The Mirror: "The penalty was raised from £60 to £100 but it has turned out that is not enough.

"It has not proved a deterrent."

By raising fines, the government believes it can deter distracted drivers, who research has shown are two to three times more likely to be involved in a collision.

The number of people caught on the phone while driving has been steadily increasing over the last decade, with a high of 8,116 in 2009. One potential reason for this is the decline in the number of traffic police, with budgets being slashed by a quarter since 2010.

Further proposals put forward include a redesign of lorries – with glass doors – to increase safety for cyclists on congested city streets. Older lorries would also require cameras and other sensors so drivers can better detect the presence of vulnerable road users.

Do you think the penalty for using a phone while driving needs to be tougher? Have your say in the comments section below.