United Kingdom: Ban on using a mobile phone while driving

Posted on Nov 25, 2021, 7:01 am

The UK government is enforcing existing laws against the use of mobile phones while driving. It is already illegal to text and make calls while driving, except in emergencies. However, starting next year, any use of a cell phone while driving will be considered illegal, including using phones to take photos or videos, play games or scroll through lists of things, reading, and other content.

Drivers cannot do any of this, even when their vehicle is stationary. The government will revise the highway code to explain that being stopped on the highway, for example at a red light or in the middle of a traffic jam, is still considered driving. Anyone caught using their phone under these circumstances will be fined £ 200 ($ 269) and given six penalty points on their license, which means that new drivers could be eliminated.

The only exception is the use of the telephone to make payments at a card reader, for example at a self-service kiosk or a toll booth. Paying for purchases online is not an acceptable reason to avoid being penalized for a violation. Note that drivers can continue to use their device hands-free, for example for navigation, as long as it is secured in a holder.

The UK has long been considering filling the loophole that allows drivers to use their mobile devices, provided they don’t text or call. Authorities have consulted the public about expanding existing laws, and 81% of those surveyed apparently supported their proposals.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said in a statement:

“Too many deaths and injuries occur when holding a cell phone. By facilitating the prosecution of people who use their phones illegally while driving, we ensure that the law is fit for the 21st century while further protecting all road users. “

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