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As of the 25th of March, a previously exploited loophole for drivers has been forcefully closed - with the introduction of new laws surrounding mobile-phone use whilst driving. 

Any motorist caught using their phone whilst operating a vehicle faces a £200 fine and six points on their licence - or a full-driving ban if caught twice in three years.  

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps highlights how the government is now "taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who decide to risk lives by using their phone behind the wheel."

Theoretically, drivers could've taken advantage of a legal loophole to bypass the previous law, which punished those who used their phones whilst driving for communication. Individuals could play games, listen to music or record themselves without facing possible criminal punishment - this is no longer the case.



Under the tightening of this mobile phone law, these actions would now be punishable:

  • Unlocking your phone 
  • Checking the time 
  • Illuminating the screen 
  • Reading notifications
  • Making, rejecting or interacting with calls or messages
  • Sending, receiving or uploading content (whether oral, written or otherwise)
  • Using your camera (for photos, videos or recording sounds) 
  • Accessing any app (including the internet)
  • Accessing any stored data (such as playlists, videos, messages, films).


The updated law now covers "any device capable of interactive communication", meaning those in airplane or flight mode still apply. 

However, motorists can still use mobile phones for navigational purposes, depending on whether the device is secure within a cradle or holder and not blocking your view of the road. 


Likewise, drivers can use mobile phones in a genuine emergency - when you need to call 999 or 112 - and you can also use your phone for contactless transactions providing your vehicle is stationary.

But anyone seen using their phone whilst driving is now doing so illegally, with the President of the AA - Edmund King - celebrating this decision, supporting the "much-needed toughening of the rules to help make our roads safer."

He continues, "the AA has long campaigned to make handheld mobile phone use while driving as socially unacceptable as drink driving ... we all need to keep our hands on the wheel and our eyes on the road."


Source: The UK Government - Click To Read More

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