Hand Held Mobile Phones & Driving

Driving & Mobile Phones Law

The use of mobile phones while driving is a hot news topic and becoming more so, with several high profile fatal accidents being attributed to drivers using mobile phones in the moments before the accidents.

Several studies have demonstrated that using your phone behind the wheel has a bigger affect on your driving than drink driving does…… which is quite frightening.

Motorists reaction time and attention is severely hampered by smart phones that constantly chirp with emails, text messages, social media messages and news updates…. with all the information at our fingertips, it’s no surprise that so many drivers are tempted to check their phones whenever they beep.

Because police tend to look for drivers using hand held mobile phones to make phone calls, many drivers now avoid talking on their phones, instead using the phone for messaging……. which is more dangerous than talking on the phone because drivers tend to hold the phone in their laps out of sight and then have to look down and refocus on the small screen.

Reaction times to then look up, refocus on the road ahead and then react to traffic conditions is the main reason sited for the rise in accidents.

How the authorities deal with this dangerous issue is a subject of much debate. Late in 2016 the penalties for using mobile phones and driving doubled from £100 fine and 3 points to £200 and 6 penalty points.

Six points they are hoping will be enough of a threat to deter drivers from using their phones but if there are no police to enforce the law, it becomes an irrelevance in many respects.

In the aftermath of most accidents, mobile phones are checked for usage and a driver found to have used their phone in the run up to the accident is commonly cited as the cause of the accident.

Camera Detection

Cameras are being developed that can police seat belt offences, mobile phone offences and more. Whether this will be enough to force drivers to ignore their phones, only time will tell.


42 thoughts on “Hand Held Mobile Phones & Driving”

  1. It’s ironic that mobile phone use is now considered to be as dangerous as drinking and driving. Both are equally irresponsible and often difficult to police until damage, injury and death have been caused.

    1. If mobiles are as dangerous as drinking and driving why is the punishment so much less. Ban drivers for a year for using phones, or confiscate their phones and make them collect them from a driver training course.

  2. More policemen is the only way to keep our roads safe, especially with the growing amount of non speeding offences like mobile phone use, drink and drug use etc. on the rise in Britain.

  3. It would be interesting to know how many times phones are used each day while driving and what the actual percentage of accidents is?

    1. They can’t plain and simple. We have an epidemic of law breaking on our roads but until the death toll climbs dramatically the government will conclude that they are doing a good job. Cameras have changed the emphasis of road safety by addressing one issue while also allowing police numbers to be reduced. We are on the cusp of a sea change when annual deaths rise again.

      1. The death rate has been constant since the early 90’s when cameras first started to appear. They haven’t reduced the death toll, but have moved accidents to other roads that don’t have cameras on them.

  4. Cameras are only ever going to be able to police the speed of travel, other factors are either going to be ignored or will have to have traditional policing.

    1. How right you are….. it’s currently possible for a stoned, drunk, mobile using driver to pass a camera while not wearing a seat belt, with bald tyres but as long as they slow down for cameras, they will never be caught, stopped or punished. Cameras just can’t police our roads as well as patrol cars can.

  5. The law for mobile phones can be a bit confusing, especially as you are allowed to use the phone as an iPod or sat nav, but not as a phone

  6. I don’t think drivers actually think they are going to ever get caught using their phones, so don’t worry about it until the have an accident.

  7. Penalties for mobile phone driving offences doubled in April 2017, which has had the biggest affect on new drivers with less than two years driving history as just one mobile phone offence will attract 6 penalty points, leading to an instant ban and a total licence retest before they can drive again. While it sounds harsh, for road safety it has to be a stronger deterrent to stop people texting and calling while behind the wheel.

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