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UK government to double fines and points for texting drivers

Engadget Engadget 19/09/2016 Matt Brian
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In a bid to reduce the number of texting-related incidents on British roads, the UK government is set to double fines and points awards for those caught using their mobile at the wheel.The Department for Transport's new rules, which will be introduced in the first half of 2017, will impose a six point penalty with a £200 charge, which may require newly-passed drivers to retake their test.

Experienced drivers will also see tougher penalties if they're charged more than once. If found texting at the wheel for a second time, they'll have to go to court and may be given up to a £1,000 and a driving ban of at least six months.

App makers are starting to warn users against using mobile phones while driving. Niantic, makers of the hit game Pokémon Go, were forced to implement new checks that warn drivers about playing while behind the wheel, after numerous reports of players crashing while trying to catch the cartoon creatures.

"As technology develops, mobile phones are common place, but we need to take responsibility for our actions and as drink or drug driving has become socially unacceptable, so must using mobile phones at the wheel," says Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, who will formally confirm the plans in the coming weeks.

"It may seem harmless when you are replying to a text, answering a call or using an app, but the truth is your actions could kill and cause untold misery to others."

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