It is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone while driving for ANY reason. This includes passengers supervising a learner driver.
This includes holding and using your mobile to make a call, look at a text or check social media. It applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
Whether it’s looking at a text or a new social media post, streaming a video behind the wheel, checking emails or making a phone call, all of these activities are dangerous.
It diverts attention away from the road and increases the chances of being involved in a road collision, putting not only the driver but others at risk with potentially devastating consequences.
Mobile safety enforcement vehicles can and do detect speeding, mobile phone and seat belt offences. The specially trained police staff also have the capacity to identify other traffic violations such as driver not in proper control or where a driver is not in a position to have a full view of the road or traffic ahead.
The message is clear and simple - don’t use your mobile phone when driving.
Understanding the Law
If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving:
- You will 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200.
- You can get 3 penalty points if you don't have full view of the road and traffic ahead or proper control of the vehicle.
- For new drivers, if you get 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
Using hands-free devices:
- You can use a hands-free phone while driving but you can still be prosecuted if you’re not in proper control of your vehicle.
- Hands free for calling is permitted when used safely, through technology such as Bluetooth and in-car voice activation.
Mobile phones may also be connected to car “infotainment” systems –but the driver must not hold the phone at any time while driving.
- A mobile phone can be used for navigation if it is hands free and should be securely mounted in a cradle.
Why is using a handheld mobile dangerous?
- Cognitive distraction –driving while using your phone requires you to concentrate on two ‘thinking’ tasks at once which our brains are not programmed to do effectively.
- Physical impairment –holding your phone leaves only one hand in control of the steering wheel.
- Visual impairment –when you glance down at your phone you take your eyes off the road ahead. Looking away for just a couple of seconds mean you can miss whole stretches of road which increases your risk of a collision.