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UK cracks down on drivers who use phone behind the wheel

Press Trust of India  |  London 

today unveiled tougher new penalties for anyone caught using a phone to talk, text or email while driving.

Under new rules expected to come into force next year, drivers will get six points on their licence, double from the current three, and face a 200 pounds fine if they are caught using their phones.

Points on the licence work like warnings for drivers in the UK, with a complete driving ban enforced at the accumulation of 12 or more.

Newly qualified drivers could be made to retake their test the very first time they are caught.

"It may seem harmless when you are replying to a text, answering a call or using an app, but the truth is your actions could kill and cause untold misery to others," said transport secretary Chris Grayling.

"We all have a part to play in ensuring our family and friends do not use their phones while driving. I will be announcing a tougher new penalty regime shortly," he added.

The new rules, which will apply to England, and Wales, could also see more experienced drivers going to court if they offend twice, and facing possible fines of up to 1,000 pounds and at least a six-month driving ban.

The increased penalties will be accompanied by a high- profile government Think! campaign highlighting the dangers of handheld mobile phone use behind the wheel.

The Department for Transport said it expected the changes to take effect in the first half of 2017.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, September 17 2016. 16:42 IST