The government decided on Friday to significantly increase the punishment for using a mobile (without using hands free technology) while driving, VG reports.
“It must sting if you are caught using your mobile while driving your car,” transport minister Knut Arild Hareide told VG.
Under current rules, the offence can result in a fine of 1,700 and two driving licence points (prikker).
An accumulation of eight points within three years results in a six-month driving ban.
“There must be a deterrent effect, so people take this seriously,” Hareide said.
“We introduced the two points and 1,700-kroner fine and thought it would be significant, but we can see that the measure is less that we thought. That’s why we must show there are consequences for breaking the rules,” the minister continued.
The head of the National Mobile Police Service (Utrykningspolitiet, UP) backed the harsher punishment.
“We don’t think that 1,700 and two points has enough deterrent effect and positive that it has now been decided to increase this to 5,000 and more points from two to three,” the head of UP, Steven Hasseldal, told VG.
“When you are driving a car, you should be concentrating on that. We forget quite easily that one of the most dangerous things we do, both for ourselves and others, is to get in the car,” Hareide said.
The rules against mobile use also apply when waiting in traffic or at a red light, according to a supreme court ruling from this year.