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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 February 2007, 08:36 GMT
Tough phone penalties for drivers
Driver using mobile phone
Drivers caught using their phones face stiff penalties
Motorists caught driving while using a hand-held mobile phone now face a 60 fine and three points on their licence.

Police forces across Scotland have pledged to adopt a zero tolerance approach to drivers who break new legislation now in force.

Research shows that drivers are four times more likely to crash when they are chatting on mobiles.

If a case progresses to court, guilty drivers could now be hit with a maximum fine of 1,000.

That amount has increased to 2,500 for drivers of vans lorries, buses and coaches, while employers that require employees to make or receive calls while driving can be prosecuted.

Drivers who are not in proper control of their vehicle while talking on a hands-free mobile can also be prosecuted.

The number of accidents involving the use of mobile phones is on the increase
Michael McDonnell
Road Safety Scotland

Driving carelessly and dangerously when using any phone can lead to disqualification, a large fine and up to two years imprisonment.

It is now illegal to use a hand-held phone while stopped at traffic lights or in a queue of traffic.

Michael McDonnell, director of Road Safety Scotland, urged drivers to switch off their phones or divert them to answer machines before setting off on a journey.

"The number of accidents involving the use of mobile phones is on the increase," he added.

"It is unnecessary to use a mobile phone while driving - not only are you putting yourself at risk, but you are putting other road users at risk."

Over just three weeks in Lothian and the Borders, officers observing more than 5,500 drivers found an average of one driver every five minutes using a phone.

Van and lorry drivers were the worst offenders - one in 22 of them was caught talking on a mobile.

Police say fines are a good deterrant

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26 Feb 07 |  North East/N Isles
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23 Feb 07 |  Glasgow and West
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22 Feb 07 |  Magazine
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07 Dec 06 |  UK Politics

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