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  • Drivers using mobiles face bigger fines and more points

    Motorists who use a mobile phone while driving could face tougher penalties if government plans are approved.

    The government is planning to increase fixed penalty fines from £100 to £150, as well as increasing the number of penalty points drivers receive.

    Penalty points would rise from three to four - and from three to six for drivers of large vehicles such as HGVs.

    Motoring groups broadly welcomed the news, but some questioned whether the plans would be an effective deterrent.

    The proposals, which are part of the government's Road Safety Plan, are aimed at targeting those who repeatedly offend. A consultation will be held on the plans in 2016.

    Most first-time offenders will still be offered an educational course to help them change their behaviour.

    The larger increase in the penalty points proposed for HGV drivers reflects the fact that accidents involving large vehicles can be much more severe, a government spokesman said.

    The proposals follows a previous increase in the fixed penalty for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving, from £60 in 2013 to £100.

    'Social taboo'

    Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "Using a mobile phone at the wheel is reckless and costs lives - I want to see it become a social taboo like not wearing a seatbelt.