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Drivers Using Mobiles; Big Fines & More Points

Drivers Using Mobiles; Big Fines & More Points

The government is planning to increase fixed penalty fines from £100 to £150, as well as increasing the number of penalty points drivers receive for using a mobile phone while driving.

Proposals state that penalty points would rise from three to four – and from three to six for drivers of large vehicles such as HGVs. The proposals, which are part of the government’s Road Safety Plan, are aimed at targeting those who repeatedly offend. A consultation will be held on the plans in 2016.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “Using a mobile phone at the wheel is reckless. I want to see it become a social taboo like not wearing a seatbelt. “The message is clear: keep your hands on the wheel, not your phone. If you keep taking calls while at the wheel, you could end up being banned from the road.”

The FORS Standard sets out a number of requirements operators must put in place to ensure their fleet and drivers are safe and legally compliant. A key requirement is D4: In-vehicle technology which states that ‘fleet operators shall provide evidence that mobile phones and any in-vehicle technology (including hands-free equipment) are considered and managed. Where hands-free equipment is allowed the terms of use shall be covered by a strict policy.’ The requirement is clear that operators must not cause or permit a driver to use a mobile phone or other distractive in-vehicle technology while driving.

D2: Driving standards also states that fleet operators must require that anyone driving on business shall drive within the Highway Code and company policy at all times and pay particular regard to vulnerable road users.

FORS provides members with five safety related workshops for managers to help them ensure that their policies are robust and that their drivers are equipped to drive within the law. In addition there is a driver CPC accredited course, ‘Staying Legal’, which is designed to inform all HGV drivers of the requirements to remain compliant, when driving an HGV commercially on public roads. The learning aims are to raise the overall HGV compliance standards, along with the protection of the actual Operators Licence. Both the FORS Practitioner workshops and the Staying Legal course are fully funded.

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