4/4/2006UK: Cell Phone Tickets Generate $12 Million
Tickets for using a cell phone while driving are up 75 percent generating $12 million for UK government officials.
Tickets issued to drivers using a cell phone generated £7 million (US $12 million) in 2005. A total of 140,000 tickets worth £30 (US $52) each were issued, a 75 percent increase from the 80,000 issued in 2004. Police have been examining speed camera photographs and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) footage to find images of people using a phone to generate the majority of the new citations. ANPR vans were initially introduced as a means of finding stolen vehicles.
The standard penalty doubles next year to £60 (US $104) and will include three license points -- the equivalent of a speed camera ticket. The UK system is designed to prevent individuals from fighting the mobile phone tickets in court. The penalty for anyone who contests a citation can rise to £1000 (US $1735) for those driving personal vehicles and £2500 (US $4345) for those driving commercial trucks and vans.