Proposed Law Changes in Mobile Phone Use While Driving

The Government announced on the 17th October the next steps in closing the legislation loophole concerning usage of mobile phones while driving. The new government plans revealed by Roads Minister Baroness Vere will mean drivers using a mobile phone in all circumstances while driving will be breaking the law.

Currently, it is a criminal offence to use a hand-held mobile phone to call or text while driving, but not for other actions that are not deemed as ‘interactive communications’ such as taking photos. Therefore, drivers using their mobile phones in ways that are not ‘interactive communications’ have escaped punishment, despite the fact these actions can also be distracting.

Note Ministers have rejected calls to ban hands-free functions such as using a sat-nav fixed in a cradle. Under the proposed new rules there will be an exemption for contactless payments, if a vehicle is stationary, and if goods or services are delivered immediately.

The changes to the law will mean police can take immediate action if they see a driver holding and using their mobile phone while driving. The penalties for using a hand-held mobile phone while driving are 6 penalty points and a £200 fine.