19 Oct 2020
LAW CHANGE ON MOBILE PHONE USE
It will become illegal for anyone to pick up and use their mobile phone while driving, under new legislation to be enacted next year.
The change will end a loophole that can allow drivers to escape punishment for using a hand-held phone to take a photo or play a game.
Mobiles will still be able to be used to pay for a drive-through takeaway.
And drivers will still be able to use devices hands-free under the plans, the Department for Transport said.
At present, making phone calls and sending text messages are banned while driving.
Ministers have rejected calls to also ban the use of hands-free function, for example using a sat-nav in a phone cradle.
Roads minister Baroness Vere said hand-held phone use behind the wheel was "distracting and dangerous" and that "for too long risky drivers have been able to escape punishment".
Phones behind the wheel: the law
- Using a hand-held mobile phone or sat-nav while driving is illegal
- Any hands-free devices should be fully set up before you drive
- Police still have the power to stop you if they think you have been distracted
- The law still applies if you're stopped in traffic or queuing at lights
- You could get penalty points, a fine and/or a driving ban if you break the law