News In Focus
Penalties to double for using phone while driving
Fixed penalties for using a mobile phone while driving will double from Wednesday this week, 1 March 2017.
Applying to Scotland, England and Wales, the new regime will mean a fine of £200 with six penalty points added to the driver's licence.
If a driver refuses to accept the fixed penalty, the case can be taken to court where a more severe penalty could be imposed.
For those who have passed their test within the previous two years, the six penalty points would be enough to see them lose their licence and have to sit their driving test again.
A survey for Co-operative Insurance last week found that 39% of drivers are not yet aware of the change. Police Scotland has launched an awareness campaign.
Casualties from accidents across Great Britain in which the use of mobile phones by a driver was a contributory factor included 22 deaths and 99 serious injuries in 2015.