We are frequently using our mobile telephones in all sorts of places. Since 27th February 2007, the use of any handheld mobile phone or similar handheld communication device whilst driving is now illegal.
It is not necessary to show any poor standard of driving, simply using the device is sufficient for the purposes of the Act. The offence is also committed even if you are sat in traffic, unless the engine itself is switched off. A person teaching someone how to drive whilst using their phone is also guilty of the offence. An employer who requires his employees to use or answer handheld phones whilst driving can be found guilty of an offence too.
A mobile phone can be used whilst driving, providing it is used with a hands free kit. This must enable you to be able to use the phone without actually having to come into contact with it.
The law also requires you to be exercising proper control of the vehicle therefore operating a PDA or satellite navigation systems may mean that you are committing an offence.
- Contacting the emergency services on either 999 or 112 or in a genuine emergency when it was impracticable to stop.
- That you were not using the mobile phone.
- That the communication device that you were using was, in fact, a two-way radio.
If you are convicted of this offence, you will receive 3 points on your licence or be disqualified. The courts can also impose a fine of up to £1,000 if a normal vehicle is being driven and up to £2,500 if a vehicle is adapted to carry 8 or more passengers.