Mobile Phones and Driving: Explained!

Nov 18, 2019

Mobile Phones and Driving: Explained!

Everyone knows that using a mobile phone while driving is illegal, however, there are still some people out there who use them when behind the wheel. The current legislation prevents drivers from using a hand-held mobile phone to call or text, with this set to be reviewed in Spring 2020 to reflect the advancements we face in smartphone technology.

What is the penalty for using a phone while driving?

The fixed penalty for driving while using a hand-held mobile phone is six penalty points on your licence and £200. Courts can also fine drivers up to £100, whereas HGV and bus drivers can face up to £2500 and a driving disqualification.

What are the current laws?

Using a hand-held mobile phone or using your mobile phone as a sat nav while driving is illegal. It’s no excuse to say you were following a map, if you must use the map, your mobile phone needs to be fixed to your windscreen or dashboard without restricting your view.

You can use your phone if you’re safely parked with the engine off, therefore using it at traffic lights or in long queues of traffic is illegal.

If you’re stopped by the police and you’ve broken the law, expect to get penalty points, fined and/or a driving ban.

There is a proviso for emergencies, you can make 999/112 calls on a hand-held device while driving if it’s not safe for you to stop.

Can you use a hands-free mobile?

If your phone is fully hands-free, meaning you don’t need to pick it up or communicate on it at all, then you can use it in your car while you’re driving. You need to set this up before you drive so that any calls can be taken hands-free while you’re driving.

The police still have the right to stop you if they think you’re being distracted when using your hands-free setting.

With this legislation set to be reviewed, it’s important to understand what that using a mobile phone is illegal while you’re driving under any circumstances (with exception of an emergency) and puts you and other road users at risk.

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