Plans to increase fines for using a phone while driving need to be backed up by tougher enforcement, according to the Institute of Advanced Motorists.
Fixed penalty fines for a variety of motoring offences will rise from £60 to £90, Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has indicated.
The new fine will apply to using a phone while driving, whether to make a call or send a text, along with speeding, careless driving and jumping a red light.
The number of points offenders receive on their licence – three for using a phone – will remain unchanged.
IAM director of policy Neil Greig said: “The fear of getting caught is the key to changing driver behaviour and high profile policing must be a top priority."
Speaking at a road safety conference in London, McLoughlin said the idea that “we all do it, don't we?” was no longer acceptable with regard to using a phone while driving.
He said: “We want to send a clear message to dangerous drivers: If you continue to show complete disregard for the safety of other road users, we will catch you – and we will punish you.”
Texting while driving causes a 79% drop in drivers’ attention – up to seven times more than being at the legal drink-drive limit – according to research for Which?