How the law on using your mobile at the wheel is changing

A national campaign has begun by Police to increase enforcement on people using their mobile phones while driving. This comes weeks before the Government introduces stricter penalties for the offence.

From March 1st 2017 the law is set to change. Drivers who use their mobile phones while driving will receive six penalty points and a £200 fine as opposed to the£100 fine and three penalty points an offender can currently incur. If caught twice you feel the wraith of a 6 month ban.

New drivers with 6 points on their license within the first two years of driving will be forced to retake their test.

Casualty Reduction Officer PC Simon Carlisle said: "Legislation was introduced way back in 2003 which prohibit the use of hand held mobile phones whilst driving. But with the advances in hand held devices and the worrying increases in the use of these devices at the wheel, the law is now being changed again.

"In March 2017 a change of the law will take place to reflect the severity of this offence. Not only will those caught get a £200 fixed penalty fine, but if they are caught twice and accrue 12 points they will automatically appear in court and face a fine of up to £1,000 and a driving ban of up to six months.

"One of the biggest changes is that new drivers could face having their licenses revoked after the first offence, and to regain their license must reapply for a provisional licence and may only drive as a learner until they pass further theory and practical tests. This process would run up a bill of over £100 on top of the £200 fine so not only is it dangerous, it'll be a very expensive mistake to make."

Police are hoping to:

  • Reduce the incidence of motorists using their mobile phones whilst driving.
  • Improve driver attitude and behaviour with a view to preventing road collisions occurring.
  • Reduce casualties resulting from road collisions, particularly those resulting in fatal or serious injuries.
  • Raise awareness amongst motorists about the potential consequences of driving whilst using a hand held or hands free mobile phone.

Using mobile phones when driving - The law

  • It's illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices.
  • The rules are the same if you're stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
  • It is also illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver or rider.

Toyota Motor Corporation, Komeda Co Ltd and KDDI Corp recently launched a smartphone app designed to reduce road accidents in Japan, rewarding users with coffee for not touching their phone while driving. Good idea, no?

Be aware if your car operates a hands-free system within the dash or multimedia system. Linking your phone to your car via Bluetooth is relatively easy for the tech-savvy but if you find it difficult… worry not!

Our technicians are always on hand to help with any vehicle queries.Pop into your nearest RRG Centre and we’ll be sure to get your fully connected.

THINK before you answer your phone.


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