The change in the law makes it an offence to use any device that is capable of interactive communication by transmitting and receiving data, even if that functionality has been turned off such as in ‘flight mode.’
Drivers will be banned from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games. This will mean anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and 6 points on their licence.
The law still applies if you are stopped at traffic lights, in a queue of traffic or supervising a learner driver.
Drivers will still be able to continue using a device ‘hands-free’ while driving, such as a sat-nav, if it’s in a cradle. They must, however, always take responsibility for their driving and can still be charged with an offence they are deemed not to be in proper control of their vehicle.
The law does provide for the use of two-way radios and allows for that no offence is committed where a person uses a hand-held device to make an emergency call to 999 in response to a genuine emergency where it is unsafe or impracticable to for them to cease driving while the call is made.
It is important to view this change as not just some new legislation to find the gaps in or argue why you shouldn’t get a ticket. Instead, we are asking drivers to think about their driving attitudes and view them with the safety of all foremost in mind,
YOUR PHONE USE IS NOT AS IMPORTANT AS SOMEONES SAFETY.
The definition of ‘using’ a phone will now cover the following:
illuminating the screen
checking the time
unlocking the device
making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or internet based call
sending, receiving or uploading oral or written content
sending, receiving or uploading a photo or video
utilising camera, video, or sound recording
drafting any text
accessing any stored data such as documents, books, audio files, photos, videos, films, playlists, notes or messages