It has been illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving since 2003. It is not just mobile phones that drivers are banned from using, either. The law also applies to other communication devices, such as two-way radios and personal computers. Even programming your satnav what you are driving counts.
You may be aware that it is illegal to use a mobile phone whilst driving, but do you truly know your way around road traffic law? For instance, did you know that it is also illegal to use your mobile phone if you were supervising someone who is driving with a provisional licence?
So what does road traffic law have to say about using a mobile phone whilst driving, and what are the repercussions for doing so?
Road Traffic Law and Mobile Phones
Road traffic law states that you should not be ‘using’ a handheld mobile phone while you are driving. The law has a very broad definition of the term ‘using’, however. It doesn’t just apply to making or receiving a phone call. You are also committing an offence if you are using your phone for activities including sending or reading text or email messages, checking your social media accounts, or reading an interactive map.
The car doesn’t have to be in motion for an offence to be committed. It is still illegal to use a handheld device if you are stationary in situations such as queueing at traffic lights, or stuck in a jam. While you are allowed to use a hands-free device to make calls whilst driving, you must still be able to competently and safely control your vehicle. If making or receiving a hands-free call causes you to drive dangerously, you can still be prosecuted.
The only times you are permitted to use your mobile phone whilst driving are if your car is parked safely, you need to ring the emergency services, or when it is unsafe for you to stop.
What are the road traffic law penalties for using a mobile phone whilst driving?
If you’re caught using your mobile phone you may be given a Fixed Penalty Notice for £100 at the roadside. You will also receive three points on your licence. You may have to go to court instead of receiving a penalty, in which case you will receive a Court Summons. The maximum fine you can receive for driving what using a mobile phone is £1000.
Caught using your mobile phone? Call road traffic lawyers in Glasgow
If you have received a fine or a Summons to Court for the offence of using a mobile phone whilst driving you should call road traffic lawyers in Glasgow immediately. There may be an exemption or technicality which prevents you from being fined or receiving points on your licence.
For more information, or to arrange a free consultation regarding a road traffic law offence, get in touch with us today.