UK motorists warned about new laws on using phones behind the wheel

The UK Government has reminded motorists that as of today, using a handheld mobile phone while behind the wheel for any use, including to take photos or scroll through playlists, is illegal.

Trans.INFO

Trans.INFO

25.03.2022
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UK motorists warned about new laws on using phones behind the wheel
Photo: Insurance Revolution (www.insurancerevolution.co.uk) / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The Department for Transport said today that anyone caught using their handheld device while driving could face a fine of up to £1,000 as well as 6 points on their licence. A full driving ban is also possible.

To spread the word about the rules and encourage safer driving, the UK Government is launching an £800,000 awareness campaign to remind drivers not to use a handheld phone at the wheel.

The campaign will run across VOD platforms, online video, social media channels and radio in England and Wales until the end of April.

Commenting on the new rules and the awareness campaign, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:

“I will do everything in my power to keep road-users safe, which is why I am taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who decide to risk lives by using their phone behind the wheel. I’m ensuring anyone who chooses to break this vital law can face punishment for doing so and we’ll continue our efforts to ensure our roads remain among the safest in the world.”

Edmund King, President of the AA, has also backed the law change and the awareness campaign:

“The AA has long campaigned to make handheld mobile phone use while driving as socially unacceptable as drink driving and we warmly welcome the new law. This is a much-needed toughening of the rules to help make our roads safer. Those who believe they can still play with their phone because it’s in a cradle must think again – they leave themselves open to prosecution for either careless or dangerous driving. The best thing to do is to convert your glovebox into a phone box. We all need to keep our hands on the wheel and our eyes on the road.”

The only exceptions that apply to the rules are as follows:

  • Drivers are able to make contactless payments, for example, at drive-throughs, so long as their vehicle is stationary.
  • A device can be used ‘hands-free’ while driving if it’s secured in a cradle, allowing motorists to use their phone as a sat-nav.

They must, however, always take responsibility for their driving and can be charged with an offence if the police find them not to be in proper control of their vehicle.


Photo: Insurance Revolution (www.insurancerevolution.co.uk) / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

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