UK Mobile Phone LawsInfo» Mobile Phone» UK Mobile Phone Laws
Sunday December 24th, 2006 03:24 AM
Whats are the Laws in the UK? - Since December 1st 2003, new regulations make it a specific offence to use a handheld phone, or similar device, when driving a vehicle. The penalty is a £30 fixed fine or up to £1,000 on conviction in court (£2,500 for drivers of goods vehicles, buses or coaches). However there are plans to increase this to a £60 fixed penalty plus 3 points on your driving licence.
This law does not only relate to Phones but any device that "is or must be held at some point during the course of making or receiving a call or performing any other interactive communication function". This therefore includes PDAs, Accessing the Internet and Text Messaging.
"You are four times more likely to have a crash when you are using a mobile phone."
This is because you are unable to concentrate fully on two things at the same time and you are not in full control of your vehicle. To drive safely you must focus your full attention on the road.
Can I use my hands-free phone? If you can work your phone without holding it, then yes.
What about if it’s in a cradle? Again, if you don’t hold the phone, you’re fine. Pushing buttons on a phone that’s in a cradle or on a steering wheel or handlebars is not prohibited.
So is using a hands-free not dangerous then? Using a hands-free phone is distracting. You still risk prosecution for failing to have proper control of your vehicle. If you have an accident and are using a hands-free phone you can still be charged with careless or dangerous driving.
Can I txt? If you have to hold your phone to text, you can’t do it. Neither can you use Internet or video technology.
Can I use my phone between my shoulder and my ear? Absolutely not. This still counts as holding the phone to make or receive a call.
Who do the new laws apply to? Is anybody exempt? Nobody is exempt - the new regulations apply to the drivers of all vehicles on the road. This includes cars, motorcycles, goods vehicles, buses, coaches and taxis. The new law also applies to anyone supervising a learner driver, where the learner is driving. The laws do not apply to cyclists but then again, cycling on Britain's busy roads whilst using a mobile is extremely dangerous and shouldn't be attempted anyway.
So can my passengers use their mobiles while I’m driving? Yes.
I’m stuck in a traffic jam, what then? The ban still applies. The ban applies when driving and driving includes time stopped at traffic lights or other hold-ups when a vehicle is expected to move off after a short while. The exception exists in lengthy tailbacks when engines are turned off.
What if I’m driving and my phone rings? Not good enough. Let the call ring and use your phone when you’ve parked. Better still switch it to voicemail before driving.
But I have to use my mobile for my job. You can’t use your hand-held phone while driving, full stop. What’s more, if an employer requires you to use a hand-held phone while driving they would probably also be liable.
Surely making an emergency call is ok? Calls to 999 (or 112) in genuine emergencies where it is unsafe or impractical to stop are allowed.
Advice regarding the Law - As long as you don't have to hold your mobile at any point to operate it, you can use it in your vehicle - this means the only way to use a mobile in a vehicle would be if it were housed in a cradle on your dashboard.
It seems that the simplest thing to do is just NOT to use your mobile phone in the car at all - hands free or no hands free!
Please note: You should seek independent legal advice if you are in doubt as to whether any particular action is prohibited by the regulations.
<-Back | 1 | Next->