Is the texting and driving fine enough to deter drivers in NZ?

New Zealand's law on texting and driving is an $80 fine - and some are raising their voice to say it's not enough to deter drivers.

Before the law came in seven years ago, Eliot Jessep lost his mother Paula in a crash where she was texting and driving.

Mr Jessep recalls the night of the accident in 2011, when he received a visit from a police officer and immediately knew it was bad news.

"Mum was my closest family. To be 16 and lose the biggest part of your family - it was a huge change to my life."

Now campaigning to get people off their phones, he says he feels disappointed seeing people texting and driving.

"The fines are not deterring people, but hopefully sharing my story helps - imagine being 16 and your whole life is torn apart"

Incredibly, texting drivers who've been pinged now outnumber those caught drink-driving.

In the UK, they don't mess around: drivers sending a single text can lose their licence and at least a $400 fine.

After they doubled the penalty last year, the UK had a 29 percent drop in phone use while driving.

After saying no to changing the fine in November last year, Transport Minister Phil Twyford now says that could change.

"I would suspect that $80 is not enough, and I think we should look at beefing it up," he says.


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