3/5/2007UK Cameras Crack Down on Mobile Phones
A UK police crack down on cell phones will generate significant new revenue.
The fine for driving while using a mobile phone in the UK increased from £30 (US $58) to £60 (US $115) last week. Police throughout the country have moved swiftly to take advantage of this change, introduced in the Road Safety Act of 2007, to expand dramatically the number of tickets issued. More departments are reviewing footage from speed cameras and other closed-circuit TV recording to identify phone users so they can be sent a ticket in the mail. Each penalty comes with three license demerit points which even apply to those who use a phone in a car that is not moving.
One unsuspecting motorist, North Littleton resident Andrew Jonathan Millward, 40, denied he was using a cell phone while driving. Millward thought his wife Lisa had been behind the wheel when a speed camera photographed their van traveling at 36 MPH in a 30 zone. Banbury Magistrates' Court on February 26 sentenced Andrew Millward to 28 days in jail, a six month driving ban and a series of large fines for his denial. Lisa Millward's 28 day jail sentenced was suspended for 80 hours worth of community service.
Paul Smith, founder of the Safe Speed road safety campaign argues that the crack down on cell phone use will not be effective.
"We need road safety policy based on facts," Smith said. "Our new national system of road crash contributory factors says that mobile phone driving isn't a large factor in injury crashes. The new law will criminalize tens of thousands, but it won't save a single life."