Mobile Phones and the Law
Over ten years ago on Tuesday 27th of February 2002 a new law was put in place to deter mobile phone use at the wheel. If a driver is caught using a phone at their ear they will be fined £60 and given 3 points on their licence under the Road Safety Act.
Though the law seems easy to understand many motorists still don’t take the law seriously even though it has been around for over ten years. This is a law which young drivers should take notice of as if you get 6 or more penalty points in the first 2 years of passing your test you will lose your driving licence!
The law states that it is illegal to operate a mobile phone whilst driving any vehicle. The reason for this is that when holding onto the phone it distracts drivers and also causes dangerous driving as you only have one hand on the wheel. If you are using a mobile phone in your car whilst you are stuck in traffic or whilst at traffic lights you can also be fined and given points.
Contrary to popular belief mobile phones can be used in a car but only if you use a hands free device. These devices are relatively cheap and can be bought from shops which specialise in mobile phones and even your local super market. The Bluetooth headset fits securely onto your ear and then pairs up with your mobile phone using Bluetooth. Built in Bluetooth mobile hands free systems are now becoming more popular and automatically connect your car to the system so that you can use your phone without putting it to your ear and you can have a conversation through the microphone in your car and the person in the phone will come through the speakers. Today many new cars come with a hands free system option or come as standard with some models!
However if you do not purchase a hands free device or have one fitted to your car and still continue to use your phone to your ear you will be fined and given points. You may also be interested to know that if you are pulled over by the police whilst you are using a hands free device you can still face prosecution but not for using the phone but for breaching other laws, such as driving without due care or attention. To avoid any prosecutions make sure that even though you are using your hands free device that continue to stay focused on the road ahead and also stay alert. If you are looking to purchase a hands free device make sure that it is operational by pressing a button on either the dashboard or the side of the hands free device.
If motorists feel that they have been penalised unjustly then they can choose to take it to court where they can challenge the conviction. The only exemption for mobile phone use in a car is that If you need to ring 999 but only if it is dangerous to stop or impractical to park up.
Many of us also get angry because we see people on their mobile phones whilst they’re driving, this is their choice and if they get caught they will face the points and the fines. So don’t let it worry you unless they may harm you due to dangerous driving. If you do feel worried simply drop back or pull over until they are a safe distance away.