Phones Off-Limits As Govt. Tightens Laws

Fri 16th Oct 2020

Drivers who use their phones while driving will get a £200 fine and possible driving ban after a review of the law made it easier for police to prosecute.

Those who might have made a call or texted while driving were always breaking the law, but the grey area in the law meant that taking a photo, changing a playlist or even playing games were not covered by the law as they weren’t deemed ‘interactive communication’. 

Following a consultation the law will be changed to make it a criminal offence to make phone use fully illegal.

Roads minister Baroness Vere said: “Our roads are some of the safest in the world, but we want to make sure they’re safer still by bringing the law into 21st century.

“That’s why we’re looking to strengthen the law to make using a hand-held phone while driving illegal in a wider range of circumstances. It’s distracting and dangerous, and for too long risky drivers have been able to escape punishment, but this update will mean those doing the wrong thing will face the full force of the law.”

A recent RAC poll found that young drivers in the 17-24 age bracket were using their phones to play games and watch videos while driving, and there has been a steady rise in phone use leasing to accidents according to government data.

“There's no excuse for picking up a mobile phone when driving, so we're pleased this loophole will be closed,” said Edmund King, president of the AA.

“Phones do so much more than calls and texts, so it's only right that the law is changed to keep pace with technology. Tweets, TikTok and Instagram snaps can all wait until you park up.

“If you can’t resist the temptation to pick up your phone, then you should convert your glovebox into a phonebox.”