Mobile phone offences

It is illegal to hold and use a phone, sat nav or any other device that can send or receive data whilst driving or using a motorcycle.

If you are caught, you could face a £200 fine and 6 penalty points on your licence. Should you get caught twice within 3 years, you face losing your

licence altogether.

What you can be prosecuted for:

  • Sending or receive messages.
  • Making a call.
  • Using your phone in stationary traffic unless your engine is off.
  • Using your phone whilst supervising a learner driver.
  • Taking a picture.
  • Changing music on your device.

Should you wish to use your phone for communication, this must be done via a hands-free system.

Why is using a mobile phone while driving illegal?

Using a mobile phone while driving is illegal because it significantly increases the risk of accidents. When drivers use their phones, they are distracted from the road, reducing their ability to react to hazards and maintain control of the vehicle. This distraction can lead to delayed reaction times, swerving between lanes, and failure to notice important traffic signals or pedestrians.

Research has shown that using a mobile phone while driving is comparable to driving under the influence of alcohol in terms of impairment. To ensure road safety and prevent accidents, the UK has enacted laws prohibiting the use of mobile phones while driving, with penalties ranging from fines to disqualification from driving.

Using a mobile phone while driving a heavy goods vehicle (HGV)

If you are caught using a mobile phone while driving a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), the penalties can be severe. The consequences are typically more stringent for HGV drivers due to the increased risk associated with the size and weight of these vehicles.

Penalties for using a mobile phone while driving an HGV can include:

  • Fines: You will face hefty fines, which can vary depending on the individual circumstances of the case and individual involved.
  • Penalty points: You will receive penalty points on your driving licence. Accumulating too many points (‘totting up’) can lead to licence suspension or revocation.
  • Licence suspension or disqualification: Serious or repeat offences may result in a temporary suspension or even disqualification of your driving licence, which could affect your ability to work as an HGV driver.
  • Legal consequences: Depending on the severity of the offence, you may face legal proceedings and potential criminal charges.
  • Employer repercussions: Your employer may also take disciplinary action against you, including termination of employment or other consequences.

We know that being accused of using your phone while driving can have serious impacts on your job and finances, especially for professional drivers. We’re here to help. We can give you expert and targeted specialist advice and defend you in court or at a hearing. Even if there’s no clear defence, we can present strong, carefully prepared statements to try to lessen the punishment.

How our solicitors will help you

We have a highly effective and successful team boasting Higher Court Advocates and experienced expert motoring solicitors as well as accredited police station representatives. This means we can support and advise you when interviewed by police or arrested. We also have extensive and successful experience at every stage of criminal proceedings, so we can offer the very best representation throughout to ensure the best possible outcome for you.

You can be confident of receiving specialist advice and robust representation. Our team provides exceptional client care and quality legal guidance to all clients for whom we act.

Mobile Phone Offences FAQs

When are you allowed to use your phone whilst driving?

The law is on unclear as to when you are allowed to use your phone whilst driving, but has stated the following:

When dialling 999- in emergencies, you are allowed to call 999 or 112 on your device if it is not safe to stop your vehicle.

Can you use your phone if the car is not moving?

In short, no. If the car engine is running, you should not touch your mobile phone. This also applies if the engine stops automatically due to start & stop systems. You should only ever use your phone via a hands-free system as stated.

What are the consequences of using your phone whilst driving?

There is a fixed penalty notice of £200 and a standard 6 penalty points on your licence if you are caught using your phone. A further 3 points can be given if the driver did not have a clear view of the road whilst using the device. On certain occasions, you can be taken to court and receive a driving ban and a maximum fine of £3000.

Did you know?

There are now new cameras being tried out by the police called Acusensus Systems which capture drivers using their phone behind the wheel.

Acusensus Systems, also known as mobile phone detection cameras, represent a significant advancement in the enforcement of road safety laws. These cameras are equipped with sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms that can detect and capture drivers who are using their phones behind the wheel, even at high speeds and in challenging driving conditions. When a driver is detected using a mobile phone, the system captures photographic evidence, including the offending vehicle’s licence plate, timestamp, and location.

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