In 2007, using a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel became an endorsable offence. This meant that anyone caught chatting, texting or checking their email while driving could get penalty points and a £60 fine.
The number people using phones while driving soon declined, but more recent figures show it has started to rise again. Now the government is considering raising the fine from £60 to £90.
So, who would be the worst hit if this increase goes ahead? To find out, we contacted each of the UK’s 52 police authorities asking for every offence relating to mobile phone use while driving between January 2007 and July 2012.
Below we reveal the top eight regions in England, Wales and Northern Ireland for the percentage of drivers who have been fined for a mobile phone-related driving offence, plus the top two regions in Scotland for the percentage of drivers who’ve been issued with a fixed penalty notice.
1. Strathclyde, Scotland – 5.08%
2. Northern Ireland – 4.27%
3. Central Scotland, Scotland – 3.91%
4. Merseyside, England – 3.44%
5. Essex, England – 2.70%
6. North Wales, Wales – 2.30%
7. Cheshire, England – 2.27%
8. Hertfordshire, England – 2.26%
9. Warwickshire, England – 2.24%
10. Gwent, Wales – 2.18%
- Distracted at the wheel – read our mobile phone investigation
- Have your say – join the Which? Conversation on mobiles and driving
- Driving advice – see all our useful motoring guides