Galway Girl Ed Sheeran
1 March 2017, 06:12
Drivers caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel face stricter penalties under new measures now in force.
Motorists stopped while using a mobile had previously been issued with three penalty points on their licence and a £100 fine.
Under the new legislation, the consequences double - six points and a £200 fine.
Drivers caught using their mobile twice or accruing 12 points on their licence can be banned from the roads and face a £1,000 fine.
New drivers can have their licence revoked if caught using a mobile within two years of passing their test as part of the new legislation.
The tougher penalties for illegal phone use are being introduced by the Department for Transport across the UK following a series of high-profile cases and research suggesting the practice is widespread.
Scotland Office minister Lord Dunlop said: ''Using a mobile phone whilst driving is an utterly irresponsible act.
''By doubling the sentence, we are not only providing a firm rebuke to those that endanger others, but helping to protect Scottish motorists and keep our roads safe.''
UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: ''It may seem innocent, but holding and using your phone at the wheel risks serious injury and even death to yourself and other road users.
''Doubling penalties will act as a strong deterrent to motorists tempted to pick up their phone while driving and will also mean repeat offenders could find themselves banned from our roads if they are caught twice.''
AA president Edmund King said: ''Too many drivers are addicted to their phones.
''Half of young drivers can't bear to turn them off in the car.
''We need to break this addiction and the best way is for drivers to go cold turkey - turn off the phone and put it in the glove box.''