A FOREIGN driver caught on his mobile on the same day tough new penalties for the offence were introduced is almost certain to escape punishment.
A shocking video shows the driver, believed to be from the Irish Republic, looking at his mobile for around a minute while waiting at red lights.
The clip, recorded in Royton, Greater Manchester, on the helmet cam of a driver in the adjacent lane, shows the driver so engrossed in his mobile he does not look up to check the lights or traffic.
From yesterday (Wed), drivers face six points and a £200 fine if they are caught using their mobile phone at the wheel.
But because the UK does not have an agreement with other EU member states for the transfer of penalties, the driver is unlikely ever to be punished.
A spokesman for the AA said: “EU drivers can be stopped by the police and warned but at the moment Britain has not signed up to agreement regarding the transfer of penalties between EU states.
“If you’re caught using a phone in France you will be given an on the spot fine but we do not have them in the UK for using phones.
“The driver in this case is an idiot. Don’t people listen? It’s really disappointing, people need to realise the police are going to be vigilant.”
Brett Mullineaux, the local motorcylist who captured the footage said: “It just shocks me how stupid some people can be to gamble not only with their licence but there own and other people’s lives.”
Responding to the fact that the driver might not be punished, Brett added: “Unbelievable. That’s the biggest bull**** law ever.”
Greater Manchester Police Inspector Tony Allt, of the Roads Policing Unit, said: “Unfortunately, there are still a number of drivers who selfishly continue to endanger the lives of fellow road users, as well as their own, by using a mobile phone while driving.”
Greater Manchester Police said no incident had been reported from the location the footage was recorded.