Drivers could face fines and penalty points as new mobile phone laws begin

Tougher rules on using a phone when driving are being rolled out in East Yorkshire and across the UK.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 25th March 2022, 9:36 am
Anyone caught using their handheld device while driving could face a fine of up to £1,000 as well as six points on their licence or a full driving ban.

From today (Friday, March 25), motorists are breaking the law if they use a handheld mobile phone behind the wheel for any use, including to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games – as the government closes a loophole previously exploited by dangerous drivers to escape conviction.

Anyone caught using their handheld device while driving could face a fine of up to £1,000 as well as six points on their licence or a full driving ban.

The Government’s a THINK! team has also launched an £800,000 awareness campaign to remind drivers not to use a handheld phone at the wheel and of the penalties if choosing to ignore this new law.

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The law changes mean that drivers using a device could be slapped with an immediate £200 fine and penalty points.

These punishments can be given out for a number of reasons which include:

○ Illuminating the screen

○ Checking the time on your phone

○ Checking notifications

○ Unlocking the device

○ Making, receiving, or rejecting a telephone or internet-based call

○ 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

○ Accessing an app

○ Accessing the internet

There are now only two situations where using a phone whilst driving is acceptable.

These are when making a call in an emergency and it is not practical to stop.

And using contactless payment for a service such as drive-thrus and tolls.

The law still applies if you’re stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic or supervising a learner driver.

It is also illegal to hold a sat nav while driving or riding a motorcycle and must have hands-free access, such as a Bluetooth headset, voice command, a dashboard holder or mat, a windscreen mount, a built-in sat-nav.

Edmund King AA president said: “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.”