Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin is considering doubling the penalty for using a hand-held mobile telephone while driving, according to national newspaper reports.

The move would mean offenders receive six points on their licence rather than the present three, and would see young motorists or repeat offenders given a driving ban much easier.

Mr McLoughlin is reported as saying that he wanted to end the “appalling” number of people killed and seriously injured in road crashes where a hand-held telephone was being used. In 2011, the most recent year for which figures are available, driving while using a mobile phone was recorded as a contributory factor to some 23 fatalities and 74 serious injury incidents.

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