Mobile phones and driving
In December 2003 a new law came into effect banning the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving. Initially offenders are subject to a fine and points on their licence. If the matter goes to court drivers could receive a hefty fine as well as points on their licence and a discretionary qualification.
It is understood that having a mobile phone can provide valuable security and help in an emergency, however using a mobile phone whilst driving greatly increases the risk of a collision.
The police are able to prosecute anyone using a hand-held mobile phone or similar device while driving on a public highway or other road to which the public have access, unless the vehicle is parked and the engine is switched off. So this prohibition applies of the vehicle is in slow moving traffic, stationary at traffic lights or stopped temporarily in traffic jam.
Employers take note…
Employers can also be prosecuted if they require employees to use a mobile phone whilst driving.
What about a hands free phone?
Hands-free phones are not specifically prohibited however they are still a distraction. Depending on circumstances, drivers could still be prosecuted for failure to have proper control of their vehicle or even careless or dangerous driving.
It is safer to avoid using any phone whilst driving.
For more information visit www.thinkroadsafety.gov.uk