What you need to know about the law of using a mobile phone whilst driving.

The laws on using your mobile phone whilst driving recently changed in the UK. It doesn’t matter if you are in a car, van truck or riding a motorbike, the law states that it is illegal unless you have “hands-free” access. This could be a Bluetooth headset, voice command or dashboard holder.

This law applies even if you are stationary at traffic lights, stuck in a traffic jam and even if you are teaching a learner driver as a passenger!

This law has been around since 2003 and changed in 2007 to include 3 points on your driving licence and a fine also. But from the 1st March 2017, the fine increased to £200 fine and 6 points on your licence. You could also be taken to court and even banned from driving.

The fines are even more serious if you are a truck driver or in control of a bus – up to £2,500. Younger drivers, in particular, those who have just passed their driving tests in the last 2 years will lose their licences!

According to research, you could be four times more likely to have a crash if you are using a mobile phone whilst driving.

The only time that you are allowed to use your mobile phone is in an emergency to call 999 or 112 and it is impractical to stop or pull over to a safe area.

For those of you who use your phone as a sat-nav also, make sure that programme it before you set off and that it is held in a proper holder and not balanced on your knee. Once you are in motion you should not touch your phone or re-programme it. This rule also goes to satnavs themselves – See the latest rules here.

The best advice is to switch it off, or put it in silent mode and put it either in your glove box or bag to prevent any distraction at all.