New Drivers Face Immediate Driving Ban For Taking Selfies At The Wheel
If you've passed your driving test within the last two years, don't take a selfie at the wheel. If you do, you're risking disqualification.
This might sound pretty obvious, seeing as it's against the law to have your phone out while driving, but if you look on Instagram at the hashtag #DrivingSelfie, over 30,000 results come up. Seriously, go have a look.
Back in February, the law changed. Now, if you're caught using your mobile phone, you face six penalty points and a £200 fine. If you're caught twice, it's a ban.
Unfortunately, these sanctions are much harsher for new drivers and yes, you'll get banned.
The Sun reports that 15 percent of drivers aged 18 to 25 have admitted to taking selfies while driving.
Using your phone while driving has been proven to be more dangerous than sinking a couple of pints or smoking a joint prior to getting behind the wheel. You have much slower reaction times and experience difficulty staying in the same lane.
At the time of the law change, James Hillon, head of products at Co-op Insurance, said: "We welcome the penalty changes as anything which helps make our roads safer can only be a good thing.
"However, it is very worrying that a significant proportion of drivers are unaware of the changes, given how significant they are."
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He believes the increase could have gone further, as just a quarter of those who answered the survey said the change would make them less likely to phone and drive.
In 2015, 22 people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents where phone use was a contributing factor.
The Department for Transport is introducing stricter penalties as a result of these profile cases, and after research has suggested the practice is widespread.
There has been a sharp decline in the number of drivers caught using a hand-held phone, from 123,100 in 2011 to 16,900 in 2015, which could indicate fewer drivers are choosing to use their mobiles at the wheel.
However, this could in part be due to police budget cuts.
Director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart,Neil Greig, said: "Smartphone use is changing - now it's all about music and media and not so much about calls.
"Education campaigns have to change to reflect this. A selfie is a ban in the first two years of driving - it's not worth it."
Featured Image Credit: itslilweaver/Instagram