Police should be given the power to seize and destroy phones, claims a survey of thousands of motorists.
A new survey of over 20,000 drivers found that the majority of motorists back destroying phones if someone is caught using on behind the wheel.
Eight out of 10 drivers (80 per cent) say that police should be given the powers to seize and destroy phones.
The reason for this is that it is the consensus that current penalties are not a strong enough deterrent, claims the AA.
Seven out of 10 drivers believed that allowing officers to confiscate the phone for a month (71 per cent) or locking the user out of the phone for a month (70 per cent).
Currently, drivers can who are caught using their phone behind the wheel can land a £200 fine and six points.
Likewise, three-fifths of drivers said that not having access to the phone for a week either through confiscation or locked access would deter drivers more (63 per cent and 61 per cent respectively).
In addition to this, over half of respondents (52 per cent) said that drivers should be named or shamed by a text being sent to all of their contacts which have been caught using their phone.
Since the penalties for a phone driving fine was changed in 2017 the number of offenders had reduced by half during the 12 months following the change, according to the AA.
Edmund King, AA president, said: “The police do have powers to seize cars driven without insurance and it seems a majority of drivers think similar policies towards using hand-held phones would be effective.
“The survey just goes to show the strength of public opinion that using your phone behind the wheel is socially unacceptable and should be treated severely.
“Doubling the fine and points seems to have encouraged some drivers to leave their phones alone.
“Concerted police targeting and campaigns will help to further change attitudes and behaviour but it does take time.
“Phones have become indispensable to the lives of millions which increases the temptation for many drivers to look at the screen rather than the road ahead.
“Our previous campaign and advertisement actually showed that you are twice as likely to crash texting as you drinking.
“Most people wouldn’t think of drink driving and the same should apply to using a phone on the move.
“Our advice is for drivers to convert their glovebox into a phone box so that the phone is out of sight and out of mind.”
Question: For using a mobile phone while driving, which of the following would be a more effective deterrent than the current £200 fine and six penalty points?
- 80 per cent police powers to seize and destroy mobile at roadside
- 71 per cent police powers to confiscate phone for a month
- 70 per cent police powers to lock access to phone for a month
- 63 per cent police powers to confiscate phone for a week
- 61 per cent police powers to lock access to the phone for a week
- 52 per cent police powers to name and shame by texting contacts that they have been caught