Motorists have been warned of the stiffness of the penalty they could soon face if they use their mobile phone while driving.
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has informed drivers that, from February 27th, anybody caught driving while using a handheld phone will face a £60 fine and three points on their licence.
Traditionally, the solution to the problem has been to use a hands-free kit, but Peter Rodger, the IAM’s chief examiner, warned that driving while talking on a phone in any manner is never advisable.
"Inevitably some drivers will think that they should buy a hands-free kit and the problem will go away. That would certainly suit the manufacturers," Mr Rodger commented.
"But drivers should be aware that they are potentially buying trouble â€“ even when you are hands-free, research has shown that you are four times more likely to crash because your concentration is split."
Mr Rodger advised motorists who have to use their hands-free kit to keep their conversations short and stated that the best strategy is simply to switch one’s phone off while driving.