Currently, UK motorists face a £200 fine and 6 penalty points should they be caught using their mobile phones behind the wheel. However, there has been a loophole caused by the way in which the legislation was drafted.
Some drivers have been able to show they had only been using their phone to take photographs or movies rather than “transmitting or receiving” data or making a phone call.
The Government have now announced plans to make using a mobile phone whilst driving illegal no matter what the reason. The Department for Transport hope the new rules will be in place by Spring 2020.
“We recognise that staying in touch with the world while travelling is an essential part of modern day life but we are also committed to making our roads safe,” said the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. “Drivers who user a hand-held mobile phone are hindering their ability to spot hazards and react in time – putting people’s lives at risk.
“We welcome the Transport Select Committee’s report, and share their drive to make our roads even safer which is why this review will look to tighten up the existing law to bring it into the 21st century, preventing reckless driving and reduce accidents on our roads.”
Samuel Nahk, senior public affairs officer at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “All phone use behind the wheel is dangerous and to get this message across to drivers the law must reflect this. Far too many people still use their phone behind the wheel, yet it should be as unacceptable as drink driving, with research showing that reaction times whilst texting are double those of drink-drivers.”
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said: “We welcome the government’s move to clarify the law on using hand-held mobile devices while driving and close loopholes which treat sending or receiving data differently, allowing drivers acting dangerously to escape prosecution.
“The committee’s report was clear on the dangers of hands-free devices and it is troubling that they will not be banned despite the government’s acknowledgement of the risk. The current law provides a dangerous false impression that it is safe to use a mobile phone with a hands-free kit when driving – it is not. All phone use behind the wheel is dangerous and to get this message across to drivers the law must reflect this.”
About Carl Millar
Carl Millar is a highly respected and experienced drink driving solicitor who is the principal of Millars Solicitors.
Carl has been a specialist in road traffic law for many years and represents clients from all walks of life and all over the Country. He is well known for the dogged defending of his clients and robust cross examination of police officers and exert witnesses.
With a wealth of expertise in motoring law Carl is well placed to provide advice over the phone and deal with all road traffic matters in a calm and professional way.
Getting in contact with Carl and Millars Solicitors is really easy. You can call him FREE on 0800 999 5535 or in an emergency you can call on 07732 054827.