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Farmers Reminded that Handheld Mobile Phone Use in Farm Vehicles Risks Penalty Points and Fines

Social media comments and press reports of farmers seen using mobile phones while driving tractors has prompted NFU Scotland to remind its members of the rules and the increased penalties in place since March 2017.

Three years ago, new tougher sanctions for the use of handheld mobile phones whilst driving any vehicles on public roads came into force. That saw an increase in the fixed penalty points from three to six and an increase in the fixed penalty notice fine from £100 to £200.


NFUS is also reminding members that new drivers, who have passed their test within the last two years, will have their licence revoked if they accrue six or more penalty points within that period.  That means that for new drivers, being caught using a mobile phone or internet device whilst at the wheel on a public road is likely to result in loss of their licence and requirement to retake their driving test.

In addition to this, for more serious cases of where Police Scotland find instances of careless or dangerous driving, they will have the additional ability to prosecute.

Linlithgow farmer Jamie Smart, who operates NFU Scotland’s Agricultural Vehicles Helpline said: “There are significant safety benefits in any farmer and their staff keeping their mobile phones with them at all times, but when driving, I urge you to keep them out of reach or run the risk of a heavy fine and six penalty points.

“It is an offence to use a handheld mobile device whilst driving whether that be to make a call, read a text or any other reason. If you must use your phone when driving, then use a hands-free system and keep the number of calls and your call time to a minimum.

“Rules on mobile phone use, introduced three years ago, have huge implications for any driver but especially for new drivers who have passed their test in the last two years where being caught on your mobile phone while driving any vehicle could see you lose your licence.  You must ask yourself just what that might mean for both your job and your lifestyle.

“One of the huge improvements in modern farm vehicles is visibility from the cab but remember, if you can see out, others can see in. So, whether hauling goods on a dual carriageway with a Fastrac or travelling by tractor on a back road, do not take the risk of using your hand-held phone. It isn’t worth the points or the fine.”  

Ends

Contact Bob Carruth on 0131 472 4006

Author: Bob Carruth

Date Published:

News Article No.: 75/20


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