Driving on your phone–the new laws you need to know

Driving on your phone–the new laws you need to know

We all know driving and using your mobile phone is a big no-no. It was made illegal in 2003 and in 2017 the rules are set to become even stricter with tougher penalties. How do you keep yourself on the right side of the law? Here are the facts.

  • It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile device whilst in operation of your vehicle. You are not able to make calls, check messages or even follow your phone’s map facility.
  • It’s illegal to use a handheld mobile device when stationary when your engine is running i.e. at traffic lights.
  • You are able to use your phone hands-free while driving. However, you can be pulled over by the police if you are deemed to not be in proper control of your vehicle.

Currently, if you are caught using your mobile phone while driving, you can expect to receive a £100 fine and 3 points on your driving license. However, earlier this year it was announced that this is expected to rise to a £200 fine and 6 points on your license. Repeat offenders may also face going to court.

In the extreme case of death caused by dangerous driving, those who were using their phones may now face life sentences in a bid to minimise death or injury caused. Currently, the average sentence for drivers who have killed is less than four years.

Are there any exceptional circumstances? Well, it’s good to know, you are permitted to use your mobile phone if:

  • There is an emergency and you are required to call 999 or 112 but it is not safe or practical to stop.
  • You are safely parked and the engine is off.

If in doubt, make use of these informative resources:

Government Website
The AA

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