England

Drivers receive new increased mobile phone penalties

Dorset Police stopping drivers Image copyright Dorset Police
Image caption Police stopped a lorry driver using his phone on a roundabout and another motorist texting about a lost puppy

Dozens of drivers have been handed increased fines and penalty points on the first day of new tougher laws governing the use of mobile phones.

A lorry driver texting at a roundabout in Bournemouth was among 42 motorists stopped on Wednesday by Dorset Police.

Another driver caught replying to a text about her missing puppy was among 11 stopped by Norfolk Constabulary in the space of just 90 minutes.

Penalties for using a phone have doubled to six points and a £200 fine.

Kent Police's roads policing team recorded 20 motoring offences during Wednesday morning - 12 of which were for using mobile phones, four for not being in control of their vehicle and four for speeding.

Drivers who get six penalty points within two years of passing their test already face having their licence revoked, meaning new drivers caught using a mobile would regress to a provisional licence.

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Media captionDash cam footage shows Tomasz Kroker at the wheel of his lorry before the crash on the A34 in Berkshire

Thames Valley Police stopped 11 people, including two new drivers, during its first patrol of the day.

One of those pulled over was a journalist, thought to be on his way to cover the launch of the new penalties.

The new measures come amid a number of high-profile crashes involving drivers using phones.

Mobiles were a contributing factor in 22 deaths and 99 serious injuries on Britain's roads in 2015, figures show.

Lorry driver Tomasz Kroker was jailed for 10 years in October after ploughing into the back of a car on the A34 in Berkshire, killing a woman and three children.

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