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Police chief calls for harsher penalties for business drivers using mobile phone at wheel

As reported by the Daily Mail, chief constable Suzette Davenport, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ lead officer on road policing, has said that implementing a two-tier system would act as a deterrent to business drivers, who she suggested pose a disproportionate risk to others. 

“If you get caught twice on a mobile phone during a set period of time you should receive a short-term ban,” she said.

“If you cannot conduct your professional life or business, that is really going to impact on people and I hope it would be a deterrent.”

Her comments come as the Department for Transport opens a public consultation into stiffer penalties for mobile use behind the wheel.

Miss Davenport added: “I am looking at people running up and down the motorways, these are often young men aged 20 to 35. They are professional drivers.

“If these people are driving as part of their business and they are taking more risks as a result, in return they should face higher enforcement.”

In response, RAC Business spokesperson Simon Peevers said: “The fact is there are too many motorists in general that still use hand-held mobile phones while driving and there is a real need to change that behaviour.

“It may be that the threat of a driving ban is a better deterrent than points and a fine, and worthy of consideration; but rather than set a higher level of punishment for certain drivers the law should be equal and clear for all drivers and crucially, more effectively enforced. In fact, the 2015 Report on Motoring, 79% of drivers said they wanted to see more effective enforcement of existing laws.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.