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Driving with Mobile Phone Law Changes to Arrive

by | Feb 18, 2022 | Articles, Driving Offence Advice

In late 2020 we first reported the proposal of new laws around driving with a mobile phones that would end a dangerous loophole in the law on mobile phone use whilst driving.

The adjustments to mobile phone whilst driving laws look set to become active in March in the UK and in doing so nearly end all legal use of handheld mobile devices in a moving vehicle whilst at the wheel of a car. The changes to the mobile phone laws account for the rise in smart handheld technology over the past decade and the realisation that phones are not just phones anymore, but multimedia devices. 

Police will soon be able to more easily prosecute drivers using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel after the government strengthened existing laws to further improve road safety.

It is already illegal to text or make a phone call (other than in an emergency) using a hand-held device while driving. Laws will go further to ban drivers from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games.

Things you cannot do on your mobile phone whilst driving under new law?

  • Scrolling through playlists on your mobile phone
  • Taking a photos
  • Recording videos or audio
  • Checking your social media
  • Playing mobile games
  • Anything handheld on a mobile device 
mobile phone whilst driving law changes

Playing games on a mobile device at the wheel will be punished the same as using a mobile device to make a handheld call.

Can I use a mobile device in a traffic jam or at traffic lights?

No, the latest law changes strengthen the law that makes it illegal to hold a mobile device whilst in a traffic jam or at traffic lights. The highway code will make it clear that hand-held phone use at traffic lights, traffic jams, or when supervising a learner driver is illegal.

Will I be able to use my phone to pay for food at a drive through?

With more and more people using their mobile phones as a way of making payment, this raises the question about whether it is legal to use a payment application on your mobile at a drive through or toll station. The answer is now clear that is perfectly legal to make contactless payment whilst at the wheel of a stationary vehicle. 

What is the punishment for using a mobile device whilst driving?

The standard punishment for using a mobile device whilst driving in the UK is 6 penalty points and a £200 fine. The penalty for using the mobile device to answer a call, play a game or take a photo is the same.

Can I still use hands-free technology whilst driving?

Drivers will still be able to continue using a device ‘hands-free’ while driving, such as a sat-nav, if it’s secured in a cradle. They must, however, always take responsibility for their driving and can be charged with an offence if the police find them not to be in proper control of their vehicle.

Do you require legal advice &/or representation?

If you are facing a driving offence prosecution and require expert legal representation at Court, call our lawyers on 0345 222 9955 or complete our Contact Form.

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