A bemused motorist says he has been unfairly punished under the updated mobile phone law after removing his mobile device from a trouser pocket because it was jutting uncomfortably into his leg.
Tony Hendrix, 46, received an on-the-spot six penalty points and a £200 fine after being spotted by traffic officers – but is livid over the circumstances.
Tony, a columnist for the Herald&Post, was driving in Luton’s Bury Park near Nadeem Plaza at about 3.30pm on Wednesday, March 1 – the day the increased penalty for using a phone behind the wheel came into force.
Of his fixed penalty notice, he raged: “I’ve been given six point and a £200 fine and I wasn’t even using the phone. They said it doesn’t matter, if it is in my hand I could be looking at a picture or tempted to make a call. I know it’s a new law but I thought it must be a prank, I was fuming.
“The phone was in my pocket, but the case was undone and digging in my side. I pulled it out had it in my hand to close the flap and leant over to put it in my glove box. It must have only been 20 seconds in all. I was only moving it from A to B.
“The police came out of a side road in a patrol car and pulled me over. I think there must have been an unmarked car further back up the road.
“It’s the most expensive 20 seconds of my life! My insurance is also going to go up now, I’m considering appealing it. They had no sympathy for the circumstance.”
Tony, from Bedford, who previously had a clean licence, added: “My advice to other drivers is don’t even bring your phone out with you!”
Beds Police has so far not commented on Tony’s case.
But upon the launch of the amended law last week, Sergeant Ian Manley, of Beds Road Policing Unit, said: “If you use a mobile phone whilst driving you significantly increase your chances of being involved in a serious, even fatal collision.
“We need to educate the public that this behaviour is completely unacceptable. Using a phone behind the wheel not only puts your life at risk, but that of other innocent road users.”