As with a large number of other motoring offences, the penalties to be imposed for using a mobile phone whilst driving are set to increase in the near future.

A recently published report by the RAC has discovered a rapid increase in the number of drivers using the mobile phone by way of talking, texting, Facebook and filming whilst driving a motor vehicle.

Scientific study has found that driving whilst using a mobile phone is as potentially dangerous as drink-driving with regard to the cause of fatal accidents.

The fines are set to increase but most importantly, the number of penalty points to be endorsed upon the driving licence will also increase.

For the driver of a car the points will increase from 3 to 4. If driving an HGV whilst using a mobile phone, the number of points will rise to 6. This will undoubtedly lead to a rapid rise in the number of drivers facing a possible six-month driving disqualification under the totting up provisions when the number of penalty points on the driving licence reaches 12.

The real risk is, however, that if a serious accident is caused whilst a motorist is using a mobile phone, they will not be prosecuted for the mobile phone offence but for careless  or dangerous driving. Recently publicised cases involving fatalities caused by a driver whilst using the mobile phone have resulted in prosecutions for causing death by dangerous driving. As per my recent blog on this, the government is also planning to seriously increase the penalties for the offences of causing death by careless driving and causing death by dangerous driving.