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As tougher penalties for drivers using mobile phones are introduced, Gocompare.com reveals the UK’s biggest culprits

01 March 2017

Drivers in Scotland have the highest proportion of offences for using a mobile phone behind the wheel*.

From 1st March 2017 drivers caught using a mobile phone while driving will face tougher penalties. The fixed penalty will double to six points and a £200 fine. While new drivers, within two years of passing their test, risk losing their licence**

Data released today from Gocompare.com Car Insurance has revealed that Scottish drivers have the highest rate of CU80 convictions, with a fifth of all drivers in Scotland having been caught.

The study found that Scottish drivers are almost four times more likely to have a conviction for using a mobile phone at the wheel than the national average (5.4%).

Percentage of drivers convicted of using a mobile phone at the wheel in 2016 by region

 Region Percentage of drivers with CU80 conviction
 Scotland 19.5%
 London 12.4%
 North West 6.0%
 East of England 5.9%
 South East 5.0%
 South West 3.3%
 Yorkshire 3.1%
 West Midlands 2.6%
 Wales 2.5%
 North East 2.3%
 East Midlands 1.4%
 Northern Ireland 0.9%

At the top of the list for Scottish drivers were those in Motherwell, Glasgow and Kilmarnock.  Creating a north-south divide are Kirkwall and Aberdeen with the lowest percentage of convictions respectively.

Drivers in London take second place, with just over one in 10 (12%) Londoners being caught handset happy while driving.

In contrast, figures show that Northern Ireland have the lowest proportion of CU80 convictions in the UK, with just one in 100 drivers having a conviction.             

Matt Oliver from Gocompare.com Car Insurance said: “In addition to the obvious road safety issues and the new tougher penalties, using your phone behind the wheel can have serious insurance implications.

“Having a CU80 conviction can seriously impact premium prices and even your ability to get insurance. Drivers with a conviction for using a mobile phone at the wheel could see their premiums increase by over £100*** and that’s on top of the potential fine and points on their licence.

“Whether the new penalties will indeed reduce the number people using their handsets behind the wheel remains to be seen. However, what is clear is that for drivers caught on their phone, it will likely be the most expensive phone call they’ll ever make.”

For more information visit Gocompare.com’s guide on how driving convictions impact car insurance.


Notes to editors:

*Gocompare.com analysed car insurance quotes made by customers on the site between January 2016 and December 2016. Gocompare.com looked at the numbers of drivers with a CU80 (beach of requirements as to control of the vehicle, mobile telephone etc. and ranked by region. Data available on request.

** Department for Transport Press Release https://www.gov.uk/government/news/double-penalties-for-motorists-using-mobiles

***Based on quote run by Gocompare.com on 34 year old insuring Ford Focus Edge 1.6, 5 years no claims bonus, with and without a CU80 conviction, with £60 fine and 3 points on their licence.