South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
22 Mar 2022

Stricter rules on the use of hand-held mobile phones while driving are set to come into place this week.

The South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) is raising awareness of the new rules which will be introduced on Friday 25 March.

In 2021, 246 people were found guilty of a mobile phone offence while driving in South Yorkshire.

Under the new legislation, drivers will be breaking the law if they use a handheld mobile phone for virtually any activity, including taking photos or videos, scrolling through playlists, playing games or refreshing their screen.

Joanne Wehrle, manager of SYSRP said: “This change in law is about preventing collisions and saving lives.

“Any type of distraction while driving can be deadly and if you’re concentrating on your mobile phone, then you’re not focussing on the road.

“Hopefully this change in law will reinforce our on-going messaging that if you’re driving, then your phone should be away and out of reach.”

Previously, the law made it illegal for drivers to use a hand-held mobile phone for any form of ‘two-way communication’.

It has now been revised to include almost all uses, with the exception of an emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop or when safely parked.

Drivers may also use their mobile phone to make contactless payments at drive-through restaurants.

“Picking up your mobile phone and using it for any other purpose while driving will not be tolerated,” added Joanne.

“We want people to have their eyes othe road and not on their phones. The law still applies at traffic lights or if you’re sitting in queuing traffic.

“If you are caught using your phone, you risk a £200 fine, six points on your licence and those who have passed their test within the last two years, will get an automatic ban.”

While it is still legal to use sat nav on your mobile phone, it must be safely secured to the dashboard or windscreen, where it must not block your view.

Using hands-free devices, such as a Bluetooth headset or voice-operated devices is legal, however the police can stop you if they have reason to believe you are distracted, and you may be prosecuted.

Roads Policing Sergeant Mark Bradey said: “Using a mobile phone while driving costs lives.

“Your attention on the road and to potential risks and hazards is significantly reduced if your attention is elsewhere.

“As roads policing officers we see the devastating impact that road traffic collisions have on people’s lives as well as their family and friends.

“We welcome this change to the law and continue to remind people that mobile phone use will not be tolerated on South Yorkshire’s Roads.”

For more information on mobile phones and the law click HERE.