The law is pretty clear when it comes to driving while handling your mobile phone- it is illegal. However, it is important to know the details when it comes to using your phone while driving and what punishments you can expect to receive, so in this article, we will be offering a guide on the law of driving with your mobile phone.
It is important to know that you can take a call on your phone if you have a hands-free kit or Bluetooth headset. Furthermore, any sat-nav systems should not obscure your view of the road while you are driving. It is vital that you are able to drive without being distracted, and the police can stop you if they have reason to suspect you are not fully focused on driving.
As with any laws, there are exceptions. The exceptional circumstances in this instance are if you have pulled over to safely take a call, or if you need to make an emergency call to the police or an ambulance.
It is important to emphasise that is must be a safe place where you can pull over and in the case of an emergency call, it must be clearly proven that you had to make the call and it was a genuine emergency.
If you are caught using a hand-held phone while driving, then you will receive 6 penalty points and a £200 fine. For people who have only been driving in the last two years, there is the risk of losing your license.
If the police feel that you do not have a clear view of the road (such as through a head-mounted sat-nav system that blocks your view), then you could receive three penalty points, this can also happen if it is felt that you do not have full control over your vehicle while driving.
If the offence is considered serious enough, then you may get taken to court. In this instance, you could potentially get banned from driving and be fined up to £1000 (or £2500 for driving buses or lorries).
Before getting any form of sat-nav fitted check to make sure that it is safely positioned. You should be able to clearly see the road in front of you and the system should not be too distracting. Any hands-free phone system should allow you to concentrate on the road.
However, it is important to emphasise that taking a call while driving hands-free can still be distracting while driving. Use your judgement and decide whether or not this is appropriate.
We can help
If you feel that you have been unfairly punished for using a phone or sat-nav, please contact our specialist legal team today. We can guide you through the legal process to help decide if you have a case and what you should do going forward. Our motto has always been “Big enough to specialise, small enough to care” and we promise to do all we can to help you in any difficult circumstances and give you the best possible chance of a positive verdict.