Using a handheld mobile phone while driving is illegal. It has been since 2003. From 1 March, the penalties for holding and using your phone while driving increased. It’s now 6 points and £200.
It is not illegal to use hands free, but any time a driver’s attention is not on the road can be dangerous.
- Drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.
- Research shows:
- You are four times more likely to be in a crash if you use your phone.
- Your reaction times are two times slower if you text and drive than if you drink drive, and this increases to three times if you use a handheld phone.
- Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash.
- It's illegal to use a handheld mobile when driving. This includes using your phone to follow a map, read a text or check social media. This applies even if you’re stopped at traffic lights or queuing in traffic.
- It is also illegal to use a handheld phone or similar device when supervising a learner driver.
- You can only use a handheld phone if you are safely parked or need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop.
- If you’re caught using a handheld phone while driving, you’ll get 6 penalty points on your licence and a fine of £200. Points on your licence will result in higher insurance costs.
- If you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
- Using hands free (e.g. for navigation) is not illegal. However, if this distracts you and affects your ability to drive safely, you can still be prosecuted by the police.
- Put your phone away before driving so you won’t be tempted to use it. Make the glove compartment the phone compartment.
- Don't call other people when they're driving.
- Use hands free devices responsibly.
More information is available at the GOV.UK website at the following link: http://think.direct.gov.uk/mobile-phones.html