Any holding of mobile phones while driving to be banned

Drivers who use a hand-held mobile phone for anything will face a £200 fine or a ban.

The law has been changed to close a loophole.

Making a call or texting while driving is already illegal.

But scrolling through a playlist or taking photographs – even playing games – was not.

The Government has now changed the law to include any inter-action with a mobile.

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.”

The law will be introduced after a 12-week public consultation.

The police can act if they see a driver holding or using a phone at the wheel.

An offence will incur a £200 fine and six points.

A driver is usually banned if they chalk up 12 points of their licence.

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said:

“Using a mobile phone while driving is incredibly dangerous and being distracted at the wheel can change lives for ever.

“Police will take robust action against those using a hand-held mobile phone illegally, and proposals to make the law clearer are welcome.”

And the AA welcomed the tighter legislation.

Jack Cousens, head of roads policy, said:

“Drivers should be focused on the road ahead and not the tweet or email that has just pinged to their phone.”

“Closing the loopholes are one thing; getting more cops in cars to actually catch people in the act will help deter drivers further.”


About the Author

Philip Braund spent 16 years at the Daily Mirror as a reporter and news editor before moving to ITV. He was the series producer of the ground-breaking investigation programme The Cook Report, Managing Editor at ITV's Millbank Studios, and Head of News at ITV Central. He has won national and regional Royal Television Society awards for documentaries.

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