The New Laws On Using Your Mobile Phone While Driving THOUSANDS of drivers are caught each year by police after using their mobile phones behind the wheel. Although for many people, using their phone in the car is convenient and kills time, distracted drivers cause hundreds of fatal accidents.
Despite fines and penalties for using your mobile phone whilst driving already being put in place and high profile awareness campaigns, motorists have persisted in texting and calling while driving.
You may have already seen this on the news – but we wanted to break it down into key facts because we do get asked about this from our customers and many people are still unaware.
When can and can’t you use your mobile phone whilst driving?
From March 1st if you’re caught using your phone while driving, you’ll be fined £200 and given six points. Double what the previous penalty was!
…Even just touching your phone while driving is against the law, including using it for GPS.
Another important point to note is you are no longer able to take a driver education course instead of receiving points.
These fines are serious!
When can I use my mobile phone in the car?
You are not allowed to use a mobile phone OR tablet while behind the wheel. Even if you are stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic – it’s still illegal.
The ONLY time you are allowed to use your mobile phone while in the car is when your car is parked up and your engine is off. Not when you’re engine is still running – even if you’re parked up, so be very wary of this.
There is only ONE exception when you’re allowed to use your phone while driving.
If you need to make a call to 999 in an emergency and it’s unpractical or unsafe to stop, you are able to use your mobile phone.
Can I use my device as a sat nav?
You are allowed to use your mobile phone as a sat nav but only if it secured in a holder correctly.
You will need to programme this before you start the engine of your car though while still parked because you’re not allowed to touch it while driving. Not even if you’ve taken the wrong turn and need to re-programme.
The police are massively cracking down on this too so there will be no excuses allowed or letting you off with a warning.
It’s also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.
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 if you’re using devices like your sat nav or car radio.
Can I use a hands-free kit when driving?
You are allowed to use hands free kit but again you’re not allowed to touch any button on your mobile phone while driving.
If the police think you are distracted (even if you’re on hands free) while driving, then they can still fine you £200 and hand you six penalty points. So you have to take into consideration whether it’s worth the risk.
The AA recommends to drivers who need to take a call while driving to stop the car, park, and turn the engine off OR just leave it to go to voicemail.
Can I use Apple Pay at drive through restaurants and café’s?
A clever question that we’ll admit we didn’t think of but it has been answered and could catch you out if unaware…
The question was asked to the Greater Manchester Police by a guy on Twitter who replied saying “If your engine is off and your handbrake applied and you’re parked yes. If your engine is on NO.”
So there you have it…no exceptions!
Both marked and unmarked vehicles are being used to catch motorists illegally using their phones or any other mobile technology to make calls, text or browse the internet.
This includes a white, HGV cab, which allows officers to be at the same level as lorry drivers and record footage for evidence.
There are also cameras being installed around the UK to catch people using their phone while driving and you’ll receive a nice big fine in the post.
So there you go. Please be aware of the new law and penalties – being caught is going to cause many people now to lose their driving license on the spot due to already having points.
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We hope it helps.