It’s always been dangerous and not advised to use your phone when you are driving. The risk of having an accident and causing serious harm to yourself and others should be a deterrent enough but updated legislation that comes into force on the 1st March 2017 will hopefully create an even bigger deterrent.
After several well publicised car accidents caused by drivers using their mobile phones whilst driving, the Government has decided to clamp down. In 2015, 99 people were injured and sadly 22 people lost their lives in road accidents where the use of a mobile phone was deemed as a contributory factor.
Any driver who is caught using their mobile phone behind the wheel will face an immediate £200 penalty and have six points added to their licence.
For those with points already on their licence the additional 6 points could lead to a driving ban. For new drivers who have been driving for less than two years, 6 points will see them having their licence revoked and them then having to resit their theory ad practical driving tests all over again.
The gov.uk website states that:
It’s illegal to use your phone while driving or riding a motorcycle unless you have hands-free access, such as:
- a bluetooth headset
- voice command
- a dashboard holder
The law still applies to you if you’re:
- stopped at traffic lights
- queuing in traffic
- supervising a learner driver
The only exception is if you need to make a 999 or 112 emergency call and it would be unsafe or impractical for you to stop the car.
You can use your phone hands free as long as you remain in full control of your vehicle and you are permitted to use in car or hands free Sat Navs but only if you set or adjust your route when the car is parked. You should not touch or fiddle with the Sat Nav when you are driving.