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Call to get tough on mobile phone drivers

Tougher penalties are being considered for motorists caught using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Tougher penalties are being considered for motorists caught using a mobile phone at the wheel.

Tougher penalties for anyone caught using a mobile phone while driving would improve safety on Fylde coast roads, motorists said today.

The punishment for using a mobile phone behind the wheel of a car could double to six points after transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin said something needs to be done to tackle the high death toll on the roads.

John Guest, chairman of the Blackpool and District Approved Driving Instructors Association welcomed the suggestion, which he said would help make the roads safer.

“I see it all the time,” he said. “I have seen people driving round roundabout with a phone stuck to their ear.”

He said stricter rules would act as a deterrent to motorists who do not consider the dangers of what they are doing.

He added: “It is a safety measure and one that I would support.

“It will mean any new driver who has passed their test in the last two years will immediately get their license revoked if they are caught.”

Blackpool councillor Maxine Callow also backed the idea and said the current penalty does not do enough to deter people from using a phone while driving.

She said: “I think it’s about time. The other day I saw a woman turning a corner using a mobile and playing with her hair with the other hand so she had no hands on the steering wheel. People need to realise it’s actually a criminal offence.

“I don’t think some of them realise the dangers. I would support this as a deterrent to people who use their phones while driving. Hopefully people will think twice before doing it now.”

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