Multitasking drivers can now be given a so-called ‘klip’ or penalty point on their driving licence if they are so much as caught driving with a telephone in their hand.
Under Danish traffic laws, three such ‘klips’ incurred within the space of three years results in the driver’s licence being revoked, and the driving theory and practical tests must be retaken before getting back behind the wheel.
For drivers with less than two years’ experience, the licence is lost after only two such penalties.
Fines totalling up to 2,500 kroner are also payable for every ‘klip’ given to a driver, according to the Danish Council for Safe Traffic (Rådet for Sikker Trafik).
Previously, the use of phones while driving was punishable only by fines.
The rule does not just apply to the use of phones: tablets, satellite navigation devices, computers, smartwatches and walkie-talkies are all encompassed.
On its very first morning, the new rule was used to penalize a driver on the island of Funen, local police tweeted.
Klokken 7 i morges uddelte vi for første gang et klip i kørekortet samt en bøde på 1.500 kr plus 500 kr til Offerfonden for at benytte håndholdt mobil under bilkørsel. Husk: Nye regler er trådt i kraft fra i dag. Nu koster det både klip og bøde #politidk #sikkertrafik
— Fyns Politi (@FynsPoliti) September 10, 2019
Legal use of electronic equipment requires the gadget to be placed in a fixed holder inside the vehicle. If it is not in a fixed holder, it must be used without physically touching its buttons or display (for example, via voice control).
Up to 34 percent of drivers in Denmark are distracted by mobile phones or satnav screens while driving, according to a Gallup poll conducted for the Council for Safe Traffic, TV2 writes.
And as many as one in three fatal accidents are partly caused by drivers’ lack of attention to the road, figures from the council have shown.
The new rules on use of devices apply to drivers of the vast majority of road vehicles, including cars, buses, vans and motorcycles. Punishments can also be handed out to riders of bicycles, electric scooters and even horses.