West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson has backed new plans to increase fines and penalty points for drivers caught on their mobile phones – and has called for the measures to apply other handheld electronic devices.

The Department for Transport is consulting on a proposal to raise the Fixed Penalty Notice for using a handheld phone while driving from £100 to £150. It is also considering increasing penalty points from three to four for all non-HGV drivers and three to six for those behind the wheel of a HGV.

Mr Jamieson, who introduced the ban on driving while using a handheld phone as Transport Minister on December 1, 2003, supports the idea – and wants it to apply to other handheld devices such as electronic tablets.

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said: “This is something I am extremely passionate about and I worked tirelessly to bring the original ban in in 2003.

“This is about saving lives. Studies have found that motorists who talk on their handheld phone while driving are four times more like to crash. Statistics also show that in just five years there were more than 3,000 accidents involving a driver on the phone.

“I therefore believe that this proposal can only be a good thing. But I want it to go further. I want these new measures to apply to anyone caught using a handheld electronic device, such as an iPad, at the wheel. I will be writing to the Department for Transport about this and hope to see progress very soon.”

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