£2500 fine for commercial drivers using mobile ‘phones
In a new move to crack down on the illegal use of mobile ‘phones by drivers, even tougher penalties came into force in England, Scotland and Wales this month. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500. Drivers can be fined £200 and get 6 penalty points and newly qualified drivers will lose their licence if they’re caught using a handheld mobile phone at the wheel.
A recent survey of drivers revealed that many drivers are making calls, taking videos, texting and tweeting while driving; all illegal and dangerous, for the driver, for other road users and pedestrians.
So this month, it’s time to make sure that all your company drivers are not only aware of the new penalties, but they don’t break the law by using mobile ‘phones illegally. More than that, they will reduce their risk of having a serious road traffic incident which also can affect your companies risk profile and insurance premiums.
New rules for using mobiles
It’s illegal to use a hand-held ‘phone or a similar device while driving, riding a motorcycle or when supervising a learner driver or rider. Even if the driver has stopped at traffic lights or is queuing in traffic, these new rules will apply. As well as mobile ‘phones, drivers are also at risk when using devices such as sat nav. or a radio. Police can stop any driver they see that they think is distracted and not in full control of the vehicle.
When to use a phone in your vehicle
If you’re the driver, you can only use your phone in a vehicle if you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop. Otherwise there are no exceptions – the driver must be in a parked vehicle.
Brief all your commercial drivers and any staff that drive for work in your company and keep their focus on road safety and the law. Remind them that the rules also apply to any driving out of working hours too.
If you employ any drivers for whom English is not their first language, you may also need to provide information using translation services.
Andrew Bourne & Co spends time getting to know how your commercial haulage operation works. Our aim is to support you to improve road safety and reduce risks among your drivers. We’ll work with you to create a bespoke insurance solution that’s responsive to your business and we will continue to support you to manage your risks more effectively. If you’d like to speak to us, call David Crowther or one of our experienced staff at Andrew Bourne and Co. on 0116 272 0770.