Phones in cars can have many benefits. They provide security and help in an emergency. However, they are distracting if used when driving and this increases the risk of a crash. It is hard to do two things at once and to drive safely you must concentrate on the road.
Switch Off Before You Drive Off
It is now illegal to use a hand-held mobile phonewhen driving, even when you are stopped at traffic lights or in a queue of traffic. This includes making or receiving calls, pictures, text messaging or accessing the Internet. You must pull over to a safe location.
Risk using a hand-held mobile phone when driving, and you risk a fine.
Mobile Phones and the Law
Tough new penalties for using hand held mobile phones came in to effect from midnight on February 27th 2007.
Although it was already illegal to use a hand held mobile phone whilst driving, the previous penalty was a mere £30 fine and wasn’t endorsable.
The offences of using a hand held mobile phone whilst driving and failing to have proper control of a vehicle have now become endorsable. Drivers now automatically have their licence endorsed with three penalty points and receive a £60 fine – double the previous charge.
Any cases that reach court could involve discretionary disqualification and a maximum fine of £1,000 - or £2,500 in the case of the driver of a bus, coach or goods vehicle.
Drive carelessly or dangerously when using any phone and the penalties can include disqualification, a large fine, and up to two years imprisonment.
It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone when driving.
Keep your mobile phone switched off when driving and use your voicemail, a message service, or call diversion, so that messages can be left for you when your phone is switched off.
Only use your mobile phone after you have stopped in a safe place. Never stop on the hard shoulder of a motorway except in an emergency.
You may think a hands-free phone will enable you to have control of your vehicle, but your mind will not be fully on your driving. It is not like talking to a passenger who is aware of the traffic conditions and can see what is happening when you are driving.
Avoid taking calls on a hands-free phone. But if you must, say you are driving and end the conversation quickly. Otherwise you will put yourself and other road users at risk.
You may use a mobile phone when driving for help in an emergency. On a motorway it is best to use a roadside emergency telephone, as the emergency services will be able to locate you easily.
- Do not ask your staff to make or receive calls when they are driving.
As an employer you may also be prosecuted if you require your employees to use a mobile phone when driving*.
If it is essential for your staff to be contacted when they are driving, tell them to use voice mail, a message service or call diversion and to stop regularly to check messages and return calls
* It is an offence to cause or permit the use of a hand-held mobile phone when driving or to cause or permit a driver not to have proper control of a vehicle.
If you would like more information on the Mobile Phone Law , please contact:
The Road Safety Team on 01225 394259 or email Transportation@bathnes.gov.uk