Labour: ‘Don’t phone and drive’

‘Don’t phone and drive’, is the pledge the Labour Party has made in support of the Sunday Times campaign. The party has said that it’ll increase the penalties if it wins next year’s general election.

Accusing the government, Richard Burden, the shadow roads minister, for being “asleep at the wheel” for standing by as the number of accidents caused by mobile phone use rose in each of the past five years, reported The Times.

He said that if the Labour comes into power in 2015, extra penalty points as well as an automatic one-year ban — matching the tariff for drink-driving — would be on the table if there is a Labour government.

The shadow roads minister also criticised the reduction of traffic police numbers by 12% in the five years to 2012, with some forces undergoing cuts of up to 44%, according to a survey by Brake, the road safety charity, reported The Times.

He also pledged to set a clear target to cut deaths and serious injuries on the road by 2020.

Burden’s comments come days after 31-year-old Marina Usaceva, was jailed for six years after she killed Sukhdeep Singh Johal, 27, a science graduate, while using two mobile phones at the wheel of her Jaguar.