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Reader Letter: Punishments for phone drivers still not tough enough

PUBLISHED: 16:36 18 October 2018 | UPDATED: 16:36 18 October 2018

One of the crashes on Norfolk's roads. Photo: Norwich Police

One of the crashes on Norfolk's roads. Photo: Norwich Police

Norwich Police

One reader thinks the police response to people who use their mobile phones while driving is not tough enough. Do you agree?

Unfortunately, one of my pet hates has again hit the headlines (EDP, October 15).

I refer to Dan Grimmer’s depressing report “Time to shame phone drivers”, and the tough message from police, stating that illegal usage should be punished just like drink-drivers.

Current data reveals drivers influenced by alcohol or using a mobile phone has risen to their highest number in five years.

This tells me that the revised penalty for illegal mobile phone usage implemented on March 1, 2017 — six points on a licence and £200 fine — was an inadequate deterrent, failing in spectacular fashion in the light of today’s appalling figures.

I have argued repeatedly via your letters column for an automatic six month driving ban in addition to the said revision.

The government’s stance on this vital “life-saving” issue is both soft and pathetic.

Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling famously said: “The use of mobile phones at the wheel was as socially unacceptable as drink driving.”

So why on earth hasn’t the government acted accordingly with a statutory ban for these “phone addicted” drivers when caught? A question that forever seems to fall on deaf ears or desire a death wish.

If further carnage on our roads, family grief, added stress on hospitals/emergency services are to be averted, I would urge our government in the strongest terms to come down hard on vehicle phone user offenders with far stiffer penalties than those already in place.

Do you agree with our reader? Let us know in the comments below or write to us at edpletters@archant.co.uk

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