The 1st March 2017 saw the government introduce new legislation of six penalty points and a £200 fine for using a mobile phone while driving in England, Scotland and Wales. See our previous story on this here.
Newly qualified drivers could also be made to retake their driving test if they accrue six points within 2 years of passing their test, so one offence of using a mobile while driving could see them being stripped of their licence.
It seems that some drivers are still unclear what the rules are for using a mobile phone at the wheel, so let’s take a look –
- It is illegal to use a hand-held phone of similar device while driving, or riding a motorcycle
- The rules are the same if you are stopped at traffic lights or in queuing traffic
- It is also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver or rider
- You must stay in full control of your vehicle at all times. The police can stop you if they think you’re not in control because you’re distracted. This includes using devices like your sat nav or car radio
While it’s an offence to be seen using a hand-held phone, this is not the case for hands-free phones. However, if you are considered not to be in control of your vehicle while using a hands-free phone you can still be prosecuted
When can you use a mobile phone?
- YOU CAN use a phone in your vehicle ONLY if you’re the driver and you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop
- OR if you are safely parked, legally with the handbrake applied and the engine switched off
So unless you are dialling 999 or 112, using a mobile phone whilst driving is a big no, no. Avoid temptation – make the glove compartment the phone compartment and put your mobile away before you start your journey. No call or text message is more important that the risk of causing a road traffic accident.