January 11, 2021
You might be surprised to know that using your mobile phone while driving isn’t always illegal.
It is a criminal offence to hold a hand-held device like a mobile to call or text whilst driving but other actions, like taking a photograph or choosing a song aren’t actually illegal. Although these activities aren’t against the law the driver is still distracted from the road and any potential hazards on it which greatly increases the likelihood of an accident.
Technology has advanced massively, meaning a phone can do much more than just the interactive communication it could when the law against using your mobile phone was introduced.
This legal loophole has allowed a number of drivers to escape punishment because they weren’t using their phone to communicate with anyone else but is now being reviewed.
The Department for Transport has been running a consultation on mobile phone usage with the aim of bringing the law in line with modern technology.
Roads Minister Baroness Vere unveiled plans in late October to ban the use of mobile phones in all circumstances whilst driving. This would mean that drivers caught selecting a song, taking a photo or even playing a game on their phone would be subject to the same punishments as those found texting or using a hand-held phone on a call.
There would be an exemption in place if a vehicle is stationary and goods or services are delivered immediately so that drivers can still use their phone to pay at drive-thrus.
There is just a week left in the consultation period so have your say here.