We all know the bad things that can happen when using a mobile phone while driving, and even if the law has become stricter and placed a higher price to pay for doing so, it is still happening everywhere every day.
With new information from the Department of Transport, there are still 450,000+ drivers using their phones while driving (I have seen 3 this morning already).
After doing a short survey we found out that 2 out of five drivers still check there social media pages, messages etc while sitting in traffic, yet there was an amazing 7 per cent of drivers who straight up admitted to using their phone while driving.
In December a well-known celebrity (no names) was seen driving through London and using his phone, obviously a silly thing to do when you always have cameras aiming at you.
In March the not named driver agreed with the offence he committed and will go to court again to receive a possible fine of up to £200 and up to 6 points on his licence, simply for the offence of holding and using his phone while driving.
Below is everything you need to be clued up on mobile phone driving laws, the yes and no’s and if you need to know we have also added how to report an offence.
Using Hands-free while you are driving?
On the official.GOV website, the information provided clearly says that you are not allowed to hold any device while driving a vehicle (even motorbikes), you are ok to use the device if it does not require the use of any of your hands (fully hands-free).
The law is OK if you can achieve using the device with:
- Built-in SAT-NAV with voice command
- Dash Cam Device Holder
- Window device holder
- Blue-tooth Headset
You must also set up your SAT-NAV before you drive and ready to take calls before you set off, thus keeping your hands free at all times, the last thing you want is to not stop to change the driving route on your device and look down while driving only to not see that child run into the road.
Bear in mind then you can still be stopped if the Police think you are still being distracted even if your device is hands-free, the main purpose of your (the driver) is the safety of yourself and others around you, not your social media followers or messages.
Using a Mobile SAT-NAV app while Driving?
Another one that you probably did not know is illegal, you are not allowed to follow a map on a mobile device if it is in your hand, it MUST be fixed and secure in the car to ensure your hands are FREE at all times to concentrate on the road.
If you still want to use the device to get around then you MUST do the following:
- Fix the phone to the windscreen or dashboard
- It must not obstruct your view of the road
- You MUST NOT hold the device in your hand at any point, it must be a hands free device
Does your phone make you drive better or worse?
When you use your device while driving on the road (even hands-free) your not as good a driver as you can be according to our friends over at Think! (link to there site is at the bottom of ours).
They suggest that you:
- take longer to hit the breaks and come to a stop
- swerve in and out of lanes more
- cannot keep a good speed nor proper control of your vehicle
- will drive closer to the vehicle in front due to distraction
- miss a lot of the signs on the road as your not looking
- are not aware of much around them
Using your Mobile if the car is at a standstill?
You can use your mobile device ONLY if you have safely parked your motor vehicle on the side of the road, but do not do so if it is unsafe or impractical to stop. You cannot use the device if you are waiting at the traffic lights or waiting for the slow person to try and get their huge car into that small parking space.
You CAN, however, use your device if you have to call emergency services if there is an emergency situation where it would be unsafe for others to park up.
What are the penalties for not following the above laws?
As stated above with the silly celebrity caught using his device while driving the new law is 6 points added to your licence and a £200 fine (with a maximum of up to £1000 which can also raise again up to £2,500 if you are driving a bus or lorry). If you have chosen to appeal against the offence and get summoned to court you could face more fees such as court costs and a higher fine if evidence finds you to be lying and more penalty points endorsements.
There are other laws to be thinking about such as being caught using your phone at the wheel less than 2 years after passing your driving test, this WILL lose you your licence.
Most new drivers do not understand that you are only allowed a maximum of 6 points in your first 2 years of driving before the courts will remove your licence.
With this in mind new drivers, getting caught with your phone at the wheel will be the end of all your hard work and you will be banned from driving altogether.
What do I need to do to report an offence?
You can easily report someone by calling Crime-stoppers, their number is available on their website and is easy to find.
We have an entire list of LAWS and how many points they give you here, have a look and familiarise yourself with them to be a better driver.