If a driver is caught interacting with their phone in any way, this is classed as a driving offence. Driving law doesn’t differentiate between a sending a text message or making a phone call and changing a music playlist or declining an incoming call. The only legal way to interact with your phone while driving is using voice commands. , this depends on whether you’re distracted while interacting with your mobile device to the point of not paying due care and attention.
In March 2017, the fine for using a mobile phone driving offences increased to £200, and the number of penalty points that could be issued was raised to 6. These are the penalties if you’re caught committing a driving offence, however, the impact of these actions can be fatal. Using a mobile phone while driving was shown, by a department of transport report, to be responsible for 33 deaths, 90 serious injuries, and over 300 minor injuries in the UK in .
IAM Roadsmart, a UK road safety charity, estimated that 12,000 people were prosecuted for mobile phone driving offences in the same year. If someone is accused of committing any driving offence, not only using a mobile phone while driving, you need to contact a driving offence lawyer.
You should avoid committing any kind of driving offence. This ensures your and other road users’ safety. You will also not be at risk of a large fine, long driving ban, or penalty points going onto your licence.
To avoid committing a mobile phone driving offence, you need to understand exactly what one is. It isn’t as simple as not texting or making a call while you’re driving.
What Is A Mobile Driving Offence?
Drivers can use their phone as a sat-nav as long as it’s turned on before they commence driving. During the journey, it’s not legal to change destinations, for example. If you need to change any aspects of the navigation system, stop at a safe place and turn off the vehicle.
Although this may seem obvious, it’s important to note that traffic jams or stop lights do not count as a safe place to stop. If the driver is considered to still be in control of their vehicle, it’s a driving offence to interact with their mobile phone.
what will happen if i get a driving offence as a new driver?
If you’ve recently passed your driving test, the consequences of using a mobile phone while driving are much higher. In the first two years of driving, if you receive 6 penalty points or more on your licence, it will be revoked by the DVLA.
The punishment is less severe for drivers not classed as ‘new’, this is people who have been driving for more than two years. However, if the driver receives six or more penalty points on their licence in 3 years, they may face a driving ban for at least 6 months.
Whether you’re a new driver or have years of experience, committing a motoring offence can also increase your insurance premiums. You may also receive a criminal record, which could affect your job prospects. These are two reasons why the impact of using your mobile phone while can be massive.
The police have six months from the date of the alleged offence to issue the driver with a fixed penalty notice. They also have two weeks to serve the registered keeper of the vehicle with a notice of intended prosecution (NIP). A NIP essentially is the police informing someone that an offence has been recorded and that they intend to pursue prosecution.
If you receive a notice of intended prosecution, you have to fill in the required information and return it in 28 days or less. Failing to do this when accused of committing a driving offence can lead to six penalty points, a £1000 fine, a driving ban, and a court summons.
Whether you want to contest the notice or not or are unsure over any aspects of it you still must respond within the 28 day period.
If you need assistance with a motoring offence, contact BP Collins driving offence solicitors who will advise you on your situation.