Whilst driving, you must not use your hand-held mobile phone, smartphone or PDA to:
- Make or receive calls
- Send or receive text messages (including picture messaging)
- Access the internet
This includes when you have stopped at a set of traffic lights or if you are queuing in traffic.
If you're caught using a hand-held device whilst driving you’ll incur an automatic fixed penalty notice, which is: 3 penalty points on your driving licence and a fine of £60.
However, if your case goes to court you may be faced with disqualification from driving and a maximum fine of £1000. The fine maximum increases to £2500 if you are driving a bus or goods vehicle.
NOTE: If you’ve passed your test within the past 2 years and have 6 or more penalty points you’ll lose your licence and will be required to retake your driving test in order to have your licence back.
WHY IS IT DANGEROUS?
- Using a hand-held mobile or device will distract you
- You won’t have full control of the vehicle with one hand on the steering wheel
- Your reaction times can be up to 50% slower than that of someone who is driving normally if you use a hand-held device.
- You are 4 times more likely to crash if you are using a mobile phone whilst driving
- Think! Even the best of drivers can be distracted easily by a text or call, the moment lapse of concentration could easily result in a crash.
WHEN IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO USE A DEVICE IN YOUR VEHICLE?
- In state of a genuine emergency you’re able to call 999 but only if it’s unsafe to stop.
- If you are a passenger, unless you are supervising a learner driver.
- If you are parked safely – not on the hard shoulder of the motorway (unless it’s a genuine emergency)
- If your device (mobile/sat-nav/radio) is hands-free! However, if the police feel that you are not in control of the vehicle you can still face the same penalties.
If someone calls you whilst you’re driving and you don’t have hands-free you should ignore the call and should only listen to the answer message or take the call once you’re safely parked. Even if your device is hands-free you should still inform the other person you’re driving and arrange a different time to take the call.
Using a hand held device whilst driving or riding a vehicle is incredibly dangerous and also illegal. If you're caught using a mobile phone when driving you could be prosecuted.