Prosecutions for motorists using a mobile while driving fall

19/10/2015
Highways Reporters

The number of motorists being prosecuted for using their mobile phone while driving has fallen by almost 50%, according to official figures seen by the RAC.

Prosecutions have come down by 47% between 2009 and 2014.

The fall comes despite figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) showing a persistent number of drivers are still using their phone at the wheel – highlighting a worrying mismatch between what motorists see happening on our roads and what drivers are being prosecuted for.

A motorist caught using a mobile phone is most likely to receive a fixed penalty notice (FPN) from a police officer, as there is currently no technology in use by police forces that automatically detects illegal use. Between 2011 and 2013, the number of FPNs handed to drivers dropped from 123,100 to 52,400 – a fall of 57%.

New figures show prosecutions for offences related to mobile phone use at the wheel have also fallen sharply. In 2014, 17,414 prosecutions were made in magistrates’ courts in England and Wales, which is 15,157 fewer than in 2009. A motorist may be summoned to a magistrates’ court if they ignore or choose to challenge a fixed penalty notice, if they already carry too many points, or if the offence is deemed too serious for a fixed penalty.

The fall is despite figures from the DfT indicating a relatively unchanged percentage of car drivers using phones at the wheel.

Mobile phone use is increasingly a contributory factor in accidents in the UK – in 2014, 492 accidents were as a result of a driver using a phone, up 40% on 2010.

RAC head of external affairs Pete Williams said: “There is still an enormous gulf between what the law states – that handheld mobile phones should not be used behind the wheel – and what motorists see happening on our roads. Drivers are routinely using their phones at red traffic lights, or even while on the move.

“We have already highlighted the large reductions in the numbers of full-time roads policing officers affecting many police forces. On average across the country there was a 23% cut between 2010 and 2014 – meaning there are 1,279 fewer officers patrolling our roads. Sadly, therefore, there are now far fewer police to enforce a law that is designed to protect all road users and pedestrians.

“With budgetary constraints, roads policing officer numbers are not going to dramatically increase in the near future, but we believe that now is time to halt the decline and stop further year-on-year cuts. We also look to the government to propose other means of enforcing the existing law.”
Highways jobs

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32.029 - £34.788 career grade
We need an enthusiastic and experienced traffic engineer to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Senior Community Infrastructure Levy Administration Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 - £44,373
The successful candidate will play a key role in ensuring Richmond and Wandsworth Councils mitigate the... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Engineer (Structures and Tunnel)

Medway Council
£31,385 - £37,053
Exciting opportunity has arisen to work within the highways department in Medway Council... Rochester, Kent
Recuriter: Medway Council

Principal Information and Monitoring Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£40,183-£47,274 (Grade PO5)
Opportunity has arisen within the Spatial and Transport Planning service for a team leader with demonstrable practical experience of... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Senior Community Infrastructure Levy Administration Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643-£44,373 (Linked Grade PO2- PO4)
There has never been a more challenging – or rewarding – time to work for Richmond and Wandsworth.  London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Senior Engineer – Highways Development Service (HDS)

North Yorkshire County Council
£38,813 - £42,683 pa
We are looking for someone to join the Development Management Team in a new post. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Executive Director of Place

Northumberland County Council
£142,417 - £153,384
This role is at the heart of helping shape and lead the successful delivery of environmental and transport services... Northumberland
Recuriter: Northumberland County Council

Senior Development Management Engineer – Section 38

Warwickshire County Council
£37,849 - £39,782
Due to the nature of the role the ability to travel effectively throughout Warwickshire is essential. Warwick, Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwickshire County Council

Partnerships & Activities Manager

London Borough of Bexley
£31,353 - £36,876
Currently seeking an experienced manager to work in the Parks and Open Spaces Team of Bexley Council’s Communities Department. Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Chartered Environmental Health Traineeships– 3 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National Minimum Wage (Age appropriate) plus enhancements for night time working
This traineeship opportunity is for graduates to undertake the new Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Senior Traffic Signals Engineer

Luton Borough Council
£34,788 - £37,849 a year
We have an exciting opportunity in the Highways Services team Luton, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Luton Borough Council

Corporate Director, Environment & Sustainable Transport

Newham London Borough Council
Competitive Salary
For further information about this exciting opportunity click... Newham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Newham London Borough Council

Conservation Officer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£31,371 - £33,799 
We are not afraid of a challenge… Are you?   Wellington, Telford (GB)
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Principal Urban Design Officer

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£44.607 - £47.511
Seeking an experienced urban design professional to work in the Planning Policy Team in the Royal Borough’s Planning and... Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Environmental Health Team Manager (Noise)

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£44607 - £47511
We would like to hear from exceptional candidates with a can-do attitude who think laterally when solving problems.  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Refuse Drivers - Rolling Advert, applications checked fortnightly

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£29,228.52 to £30,766.08 (including London Weighting and Contractual Overtime).
It is an exciting time in Waste and Street Services at the Royal Borough of Greenwich. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Principal Transport Planner (LEN & Healthy Streets)

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
Looking for a highly motivated Principal Transport Planner to project manage, and deliver, these two transformational schemes... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Streetscene Mechanic

Ryedale District Council
45 hrs £28,989 to £35,008. 37 hrs £23,836 to £28,785.
Are you a fully qualified HGV/LGV mechanic? North Yorkshire
Recuriter: Ryedale District Council

Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£33,153 - £35,755
As a key member of the Projects Team you will have experience of the development, planning, design and implementation of transport infrastructure. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Road Safety Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,589 - £31,371
Looking for a candidate who can participate in developing and delivering technically sound highway engineering solutions, to maintain and... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Highways on Fridays

Latest Issue

latest magazine issue

Zero carbon roads?

Modelling the future

A breath of fresh air

View the latest issue

Latest Video